“It’s The Journey”: Exploring The Consequences Of A Professional Development Workshop For College Astronomy Faculty
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the range of consequences of a professional development workshop for two- and four-year college astronomy faculty. Its focus was how faculty participants chose to incorporate ideas and teaching strategies from the workshop with their own teaching ideas and practices. Data included pre- and post-workshop open-ended survey responses on teaching strategies from 126 faculty, follow-up online survey responses on reported teaching practices from forty-one faculty, semi-structured interviews and classroom observations with five faculty “heavy adopters” of the workshop teaching techniques, and surveys from their students. Analytical techniques used were both traditional, such as clustering, counting, and iterative descriptive coding (Miles and Huberman, 1994); as well as non-traditional, such as circle graphs (Aumann et al., 1999), and analysis of linguistic metaphors (Martin and Lueckenhausen, 2005). The main consequence of this study is that faculty development workshops can help support faculty as they create their own teaching path, and support their students in doing the same. Faculty participants reported incorporating workshop teaching strategies to their teaching practice following their participation. Interviews with and classroom observations with the five “heavy adopters” characterized how each individual retrofitted the techniques to suit his or her own teaching approaches, as revealed by their dominant teaching metaphor, as well as the metaphors used by their students to describe their classes.