Washington University's STEM Education Research Group (ERG) brings together a diverse group of faculty and staff members interested in research on teaching and learning in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). The group represents an array of fields, including Biology, Chemistry, Education, Physics, Psychology, and Engineering, as well as the Institute for School Partnership, The Teaching Center, and CIRCLE (the Center for Integrative Research on Cognition, Learning, and Education).
Gina Frey (Executive Director of The Teaching Center; Associate Professor of STEM Education, Chemistry; and Co-Director of CIRCLE), Vicki May (Executive Director of the Institute for School Partnership and Assistant Dean in Arts & Sciences), and Kathy Miller (Professor and Chair of Biology) established the STEM ERG in 2008. Faculty interested in establishing similar groups in other disciplines should contact Gina Frey.
The ERG uses a laboratory-group model, with individual members presenting current or completed work related to the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) at weekly meetings. Based on these presentations, ERG members offer one another feedback, research suggestions, and ideas for new collaborations. The group meets during the fall and spring semesters.
The ERG founders developed the group in response to a specific need among faculty and staff involved in projects funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to evaluate these projects in a systematic way. The ERG serves another, broader purpose by fostering collegial, collaborative interactions among scholars from different disciplines.
The Education Research Group has broadened the definition of scholarship at Washington University and raised awareness among the faculty and administration about how faculty, researchers, and staff are conducting scholarship that advances the university's mission of excellence in both teaching and research.
For more about the group, please consult the following article:
Fisher, B. A. and R. F. Frey. (2011). "Adapting a Laboratory-Research Group Model to Foster the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning." To Improve the Academy 30. 99-111.