The National Science Foundation has awarded a two-year grant in the amount of $57,367 in support of the project entitled “Collaborative Research: The Common Problem Pedagogy Project” under the direction of Principal Investigators (for SUNY Oneonta) Drs. Jan Bowers (Education & Human Ecology) and Joshua Nollenberg (Physics & Astronomy). The project is a collaboration with SUNY Cortland (lead), SUNY Oswego, and SUNY Plattsburgh, and will be implemented on all four campuses. A brief description of the project follows.
The Common Problem Pedagogy project seeks to improve STEM teaching and learning through the integration of cross-disciplinary experiences and applied learning opportunities in ways that will strengthen STEM workforce preparation and produce a more STEM-literate public. STEM faculty will partner with one or more colleagues from the arts and humanities to identify a community partner with a significant problem or issue relevant to their disciplines. Faculty will incorporate problem-based learning activities in their courses to address the problem. Interdisciplinary teams of students from their classes will work together, applying the perspectives and tools of inquiry from their respective disciplines, to develop potential solutions that will be presented to the community partner at the end of the semester. The goals of the project are to demonstrate the effectiveness of Common Problem Pedagogy on student learning within STEM disciplines, to increase the number of STEM instructors proficient in this pedagogy, and to identify strategies for scaling up this methodology for large-scale adoption across the SUNY system and beyond.