The Science Education Initiative: An Experiment in Scaling Up Educational Improvements in a Research University

Stephanie V. Chasteen, Ph.D.

Associate Director Science Education Initiative, CU Boulder

The Science Education Initiative (SEI; ) was created as an experiment in transforming course materials and faculty practices at two institutions, CU Boulder and University of British Columbia, under the leadership of 1995 Nobel Prize winner Carl Weiman. This model of change focuses resources at the departmental level, includes an explicit focus on course transformation, and provides human resources in the form of discipline-based postdoctoral education specialists. The SEI was generally effective in impacting courses and faculty across the institutions, but many - primarily local - factors affected success in individual departments. I'll share the model of educational change which inspired the SEI, the process and progress of the initiative, reflect on lessons-learned in the program about how to spark real change in departments, and discuss more recent programs and developments that have been inspired or are building upon the SEI. These programs and their results provide useful guidance in the creation of scalable, institutionally-supported models of educational change.

Last modified: Fri Mar 11 14:10:51 2016