InTeGrate: A Systems Approach to Transforming Higher Education
REC Center Medium Ice Overlook Room
Now in its fourth year, the InTeGrate project seeks to transform teaching and learning about the Earth in higher education. Traditionally, focusing on Earth processes and Earth history, geoscience is taught in geoscience departments, has relatively few majors, lacks diversity, and is not widely understood or valued beyond those in direct contact with the profession. InTeGrate seeks to situate learning about the Earth in the context of societal issues, and to locate learning not only within geoscience programs but also in other majors, and across the undergraduate curriculum. Changing a system as complex as higher education requires multiple drivers, establishment of virtuous feedbacks, and time for changes to propagate. InTeGrate uses a three prong approach to transformation: work at the course scale to change what faculty are ready to teach; work at the department and institutional scales to change what faculty are asked to teach and do; and work with communities to change values, networks, and available resources. InTeGrate capitalizes on changes already underway including those emphasizing reform of teaching practices in STEM, issues of sustainability in higher education, successful degree completion for all students. InTeGrate is currently engaging over 100 faculty in developing teaching materials rigorously designed and tested to meet InTeGrate's goals and to employ engaged teaching practices demonstrated to improve student learning. These materials are being adopted by programs and institutions as part of InTeGrate funded implementation programs which will serve as new models for learning about the Earth in higher education. Topical workshops produced online resources for faculty and program leaders with more than 40,000 users this year. Traveling workshops, the Rendezvous, webinars, and regional workshops are expanding the opportunities for educators to learn about the importance, possibilities and impacts of learning about the Earth in a societal context.