research and teaching partners
Lynn Gilbert was a middle school teacher in Loveland, Colorado, who retired in spring 2015 after 25 years of teaching. She was deeply committed to engaging her students in problem-based learning and helping them increase their reading and writing literacy skills. She often collaborated with English language arts and social studies teachers to make her science content relevant to students. Her former school serves a broad demographic: about 50% of her students qualify for free/ reduced lunch about about 25% are classified as English Language Learners (for whom English is not a first language). Some of our collaborative work is featured in Annenberg video produced by WGBH (Boston PBS) on Reading and Writing in the Disciplines.
Alison Wallace is a professor of Bioscience at Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM). We have been collaborating since 2007 on integrating writing-to-learn activities in courses at MSUM. We have two NSF grants together. We started out implementing and testing activities in laboratory sections with 24 students at most in each section in a collaborative project with Steve Dahlberg. We are currently testing writing activities in large biology classes (with 100-200 students in lecture sections) with our colleagues, Ellen Brisch and Paul Laybourn. Other collaborative writing projects have been with colleagues in biology (Michelle Mallott) and physics (Steve Lindaas, Linda Winkler). We have both taught biology to majors and non-majors as well as science pedagogy (Science Methods) classes to pre-service teachers.
Linda Fuselier is an associate profess or Biology at University of Louisville. Alison, Linda, and I have just started a collaboration around rhetorical and textual analysis of student writing. Linda is a wetlands ecologist, but she is passionate about undergraduate biology education as well as studying how people communicate about scientists. So, she bridges ecology and science studies.
Nicole Gerardo is an associate professor at Emory University. We met as co-teachers in the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative program. We discovered a shared teaching philosophy- to use evolution as a unifying theme and to use as many culturally and geographically-relevant examples to make content meaningful to our students. We are currently collaborating on two studies: 1) how Tibetan Buddhist monks make meaning of the origin of biodiversity and 2) how scientists and artists communicate science through collaborations.
Karnataka, India Dec 2017
Karnataka, India Dec 2017
Steve Dahlberg is the former head of the Department of Science and Mathematics, as well as the interim President, of White Earth Tribal Community College (WETCC) in Mahnomen, MN, about an hour away from MSUM. He now teaches at the Circle of Life Academy. We are integrating writing in his environmental biology courses and encourage students to draw on personal funds of knowledge, prior experience, and moral reasoning when writing about socio-scientific issues. He feels strongly about supporting Native ways of knowing the natural world and integrating those into his college science classes.
Paul Laybourn is a professor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Colorado State University. He teaches large undergraduate cell biology courses. We received an NSF grant with colleagues from MSUM and WETCC to study how iterative WTL activities centered on cancer biology can be integrated into undergraduate courses with over 100 enrolled students. To test our research questions we are using Electronic Blackboard and Writing@CSU (an open access website that supports writing instruction in all disciplines).
Paul, Alison, some Chicago pigeons, and me (Chicago, NARST conference, 2015)
Becki Atadero is an associate professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Colorado State University. She teaches Statics and Materials to undergraduate CIVE students, studies problem-based learning and cooperative group work in engineering classes, and does research on bridges (literal bridges, not rhetorical ones). We collaborate with another colleague, Karen Rambo-Hernandez, associate professor of Educational Psychology at West Virginia University, who uses social cognitive theory to understand what motivates students to learn and persist in some disciplines. Along with Aramati Casper (my grad student), we have found that the types of prompts used in group work make a difference in student learning outcomes and performance and that gender composition of groups may influence discourse dynamics during problem-based group work. Becki and I are also interested in how short reflective writing about group dynamics may influence undergraduate engineering students' perceptions of having diverse perspectives represented in their group. Our wonderful, GRA, Alison Welker, provided invaluable contributions to this project.