New CUR division announced + upcoming CUR events

Screen shot of CUR website

The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) recently announced the establishment of an Education Division. According to CUR, the new division will provide leadership and discipline-specific expertise in developing undergraduate research in Schools of Education, education-related programs and in related fields and professions.

This division will facilitate communication and collaboration among CUR members from all divisions who are interested in promoting undergraduate research in teacher preparation programs and related professions.  More specifically this division will:

  •  Isolate, articulate and address the issues and challenges that facilitate and/or inhibit the adoption of Undergraduate Research into the complex activities of teaching and learning within educational units and institutions, particularly with regard to teacher preparation and induction.
  • Bring together the critical mass of educators who can facilitate the inclusion of high-impact learning experiences, specifically undergraduate research, into curricula through practices and models of undergraduate research that are unique to educational institutions, teacher education-related programs and associated fields and professions.
  • Advocate and provide leadership for networks/communities of educators to support the full adoption of undergraduate research in educational institutions.
  • Bring together the critical mass needed to address the need for sustained system-wide student-centric pedagogical practices in Education and education related practices. Create a cohesive community of academics best prepared to engage granting agencies with goals to affect prospective educators and their respective community of practice.

To learn more about CUR and how to join for free, read this post.

Please take note of these upcoming CUR events:

  • October 2: Deadline for nominations for CUR Biology Division Mentor Awards (5:00pm)
  • October 13: Deadline to submit a prospectus for submission for Fall 2016 issue of CUR Quarterly
  • October 15-17: Initiating & Sustaining Undergraduate Research Programs institute, hosted by the University of Missouri, Columbia
  • November 4: Deadline to submit CUR Posters on the Hill application
  • November 6-8: Creative Inquiry in the Arts & Humanities Institute

More information, including links to register, can be found on the OARS Events calendar or on the CUR website.

In front of a red brick building, a lamppost bears a sign for McGuffey Hall.

College of Education, Health and Society receives funding for new STEM scholarship program

A woman holding a microphone addresses an audience. Behind her on the stage are four other people.

Select teacher education majors from Miami University will soon get a chance to become highly qualified science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teachers while also learning how to be culturally responsive in a multicultural environment.

The National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Scholarship Program has selected a team of experts in the College of Education, Health and Society to receive funding for their idea that will help undergraduate and graduate STEM majors, STEM professionals and STEM teacher education majors gain the skills necessary to teach in ethnically and culturally diverse communities.

“Our goal is to use this funding to create a STEM teacher education scholarship program that will not only impart knowledge, but expose students to the experiences they will have in urban communities so they can be culturally responsive in any situation,” says Nazan Bautista, the primary investigator and a science educator in Miami’s College of Education, Health and Society.

She, along with co-primary investigators Jeff Wanko in the College of Education, Health and Society (EHS), Tammy Schwartz in the Urban Teaching Cohort (UTC) program, and Ellen Yezierski and Jennifer Blue in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) at Miami University have been awarded $74,956 to begin building their project, Building Capacity for Miami Robert Noyce Scholars.

This award is the first in a series of steps that will help the team move forward on program designs geared toward attracting and retaining aspiring STEM teachers committed to a high-needs local school district for two years after graduation. Among these attractions will be scholarship opportunities and stipend options for talented STEM undergraduates and STEM career professionals to pursue secondary teacher certification (Grades 7-12) in either science or mathematics at Miami. The project team will also develop a mentoring and professional development program supporting teacher candidates during the initial years of their full-time teaching.

“This capacity building proposal for the MU-Noyce Scholars project is well designed [and] represents a novel approach to STEM teacher preparation in urban settings including the emphasis on culturally responsive teaching and immersion in field experiences beginning after the freshman year,” wrote a National Science Foundation reviewer.

Miami’s team of experts hopes their project will provide a model for STEM teacher education programs in other institutions. Their goal is to prepare teachers who understand the characteristics and contributions of different ethnic groups, incorporate diverse content into their curriculums, and understand how different ethnic communication styles reflect cultural values and shape learning behavior. All this, they believe, should be done responsibly while realizing the intellectual potential of a diverse student classroom and spreading that idea to others.

Written by Andrea Rahtz, College of Education, Health, & Society, Miami University. Originally appeared as a Campus News story on Miami University’s website.

Photo of McGuffey Hall by Scott Kissell, Miami University News & Communications. Photo of CEHS Urban Teaching Series panel by Jeff Sabo, Miami University News & Communications.