News & Events

Hora, M. T., & Hunter, A. B. (2014). Exploring the dynamics of organizational learning: identifying the decision chains science and math faculty use to plan and teach undergraduate courses. International Journal of STEM Education, 1(1), 1-21. 

The field of STEM education is increasingly focusing on processes of individual, cultural, and organization-level change in postsecondary institutions, yet current approaches tend to focus on individual leverage points isolated from other factors and the broader institutional context. Research on reform implementation highlights how individual decision-making is shaped by a variety of inter-connected factors - or what we call 'decision chains’. Organizational learning theory offers a way to conceptualize how these decision chains are implicated in the change process. Organizational learning refers to the processes whereby organizations store information in what is known as the ‘organizational memory’, how this information is retrieved, and how alterations to these processes can affect organizational. In this paper, we report findings from a qualitative case study of how 24 science and math faculty at a large, public research university in the United States engaged with their organization’s memory while planning courses. We also explore how a reform initiative—the Undergraduate Science Education (USE) project—influenced these memory functions. We analyzed semi-structured interviews using a structured approach to grounded theory as well as techniques for graphically depicting verbal data.       

Second project paper published in the Journal of the Learning Sciences by Hora and Ferrare
Hora, M.T. & Ferrare, J. (2012). Instructional systems of practice: A multi-dimensional analysis of math and science undergraduate course planning and classroom teaching. The Journal of the Learning Sciences

CCHER researchers present paper at the 2012 annual ASHE conference
The Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) held its 37th annual conference in Las Vegas, NV on November 14-17, 2012.   Oleson and Hora presented a paper titled "Teaching the Way They Were Taught? Revisiting the Sources of Teaching Knowledge and the Role of Prior Experience in Shaping Faculty Teaching Practices." PDF

CCHER publishes data report from TDOP Classroom Observations conducted in spring 2012

Ferrare and Hora publish Working Paper on faculty cultural models for undergraduate teaching

Hora, M.T. & Anderson, C.D. (2012). Perceived norms for interactive teaching and their relationship to instructional decision-making: a mixed methods study. Higher Education 64 (4), 573-592.

Normative expectations for acceptable behaviors related to undergraduate instruction are known to exist within academic settings. Yet few studies have examined disciplinary variation in norms for interactive teaching, and their relationship to teaching practice, particularly from a cognitive perspective. This study examines these problems using survey (n = 436) and interview (n = 56) data collected from faculty at three research universities in the United States in math, physics, chemistry, biology and geology departments. These data are analyzed using quantitative (i.e., ANOVA and ANCOVA) and qualitative (i.e., thematic and causal network analysis) techniques to provide multi-faceted accounts of normative systems. Results indicate that perceived norms for interactive teaching are weak or non-existent, yet other types of norms including those regarding course content, tacit norms for instructional autonomy and norms instantiated in course syllabi are present. Significant differences in perceived norms were found between institutions and disciplines, with biology and physics departments at two research sites exhibiting significantly stronger norms than other departments. Analyses of relationships between perceived norms and teaching practice indicated significant relationships between norm strength and the use of two teaching methods. Further, analyses of interview data revealed complex chains of decision-making involving considerations of course syllabi, student characteristics, and feedback mechanisms. Implications for pedagogical reform include the need to understand local cultural conditions and decision-making patterns to inform program design and implementation.

Hora and Ferrare publish findings of faculty self-efficacy

CCHER Co-PI Hora receives Emerging Interfaces Award (November 2011)
WCER researcher Matthew Hora is a recipient of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery's Emerging Interfaces Award, which acknowledges non-scientists who demonstrate promise in their exploration of science through arts, humanities, social sciences or education. The Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery facility houses twin interdisciplinary research institutes: the Morgridge Institute for Research, a private, not-for-profit research institute dedicated to improving human health by accelerating scientific discovery to patient delivery; and the public Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, which is part of UW–Madison organized under its Graduate School. More information is available:

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CCHER researchers to present three papers at the 2011 annual ASHE conference
The Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) held its 36th annual conference in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 16-19, 2011.  Hora presented a paper titled “A cognitive analysis of instructional decision-making and teaching practice: Results from wave 1 of the CCHER study.”  Ferrare and Hora presented a paper titled “The social and cultural order of undergraduate teaching in the natural sciences and mathematics: A field theoretic framework for understanding instructional reform in postsecondary education.”  Holden and Hora presented a paper titled “How perceived affordances and cultural conventions influence faculty use of instructional technology.”

CCHER researchers to present three papers at the 2012 annual AERA conference
Hora, Ferrare and Holden will present three new papers from the CCHER project at the 2012 AERA conference on faculty self-efficacy, socio-cultural aspects of classroom instruction and instructional technology use. Program.

UW-MadisonNational Science Foundation CCHER is housed within the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Copyright ©2009, The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System

The CCHER project is funded by the National Science Foundation under Award # DRL-0814724