What is it about?

In this paper we draw insights from interviews with 19 science faculty who use innovative teaching practices. We ask about teaching-focused conversations they have with different discussion partners. We find that productive teaching conversations can be cultivated by fostering collaborative teaching partnerships and developing departmental structures to facilitate sharing of teaching expertise. In addition, social network analysis can be useful approaches for researching the mechanisms that drive teaching reform.

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Why is it important?

Evidence shows that learner-centered instructional strategies result in improved student learning outcomes yet, lecturing remains the predominant teaching mode in undergraduate science courses. Our findings show that intentional development of structures that promote sharing of learner-centered instructional strategies can help boost innovation in higher education by overcoming barriers and boosting existing drives.


Participating in Mapping Change in Higher Education project which brings together disciplinary-based educational researchers and social network analysts has been a pleasure. This paper focuses on some of the excellent qualitative work done in the project.

Professor John P Ziker
Boise State University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Context and content of teaching conversations: exploring how to promote sharing of innovative teaching knowledge between science faculty, International Journal of STEM Education, August 2022, Springer Science + Business Media,
DOI: 10.1186/s40594-022-00369-5.
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