An Assessment of Professional Development for Astronomy and Physics Faculty: Expanding Our Vision of How to Support Faculty's Learning About Teaching
Olmstead, Alice Rose
Turpen, Chandra A
Richardson, Derek C
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In this thesis, we will explore approaches to faculty instructional change in astronomy and physics. We primarily focus on professional development (PD) workshops, which are a central mechanism used within our community to help faculty improve their teaching. Although workshops serve a critical role for promoting more equitable instruction, we rarely assess them through careful consideration of how they engage faculty. To encourage a shift towards more reflective, research-informed PD, we developed the Real-Time Professional Development Observation Tool (R-PDOT), to document the form and focus of faculty's engagement during workshops. We then analyze video-recordings of faculty's interactions during the Physics and Astronomy New Faculty Workshop, focusing on instances where faculty might engage in pedagogical sense-making. Finally, we consider insights gained from our own local, team-based effort to improve a course sequence for astronomy majors. We conclude with recommendations for PD leaders and researchers.