CCE-STEM: Transformation

Institutional Transformation: Enhancing IUPUI STEM Curriculum through the Community-Engaged Learning and Ethical Reflection Framework (I-CELER)

This project will facilitate and explore the institutional transformation of two Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) departments, Biomedical Engineering and Earth Sciences. Specifically, it will (i) promote the Integration of Community-Engaged Learning and Ethical Reflection (I-CELER) in these STEM curricula, (ii) explore the organizational impact of the project on institutional change, and (iii) analyze individual changes associated with students' and educators' ethical development. This project will increase faculty's ability to integrate philosophical reflection and community engagement within their departmental curriculum through their participation in Faculty Learning Community (FLC) meetings designed to explore the I-CELER framework. In turn, this will improve their undergraduate students' learning outcomes related to ethical development. Through a research to practice cycle, investigators will promote, explore, and iterate on techniques for embedding and teaching STEM ethics in community-engaged environments. This will provide the context in which undergraduates will design potential solutions, establish empathic relationships with community members, and simultaneously reflect upon the meanings and values affecting those relationships through the philosophical lenses of John Dewey's moral philosophy and an ethic of care. By integrating community-engaged ethical instruction into departmental curricula and investigating these effects, STEM ethics education at the investigators' institution will be infused with a new vitality leading to ethically-literate, civic-minded, and empathic cohorts of undergraduate students, educators who are confident about integrating ethics and community-engaged pedagogy in their courses, and transformed departments that incorporate ethics instruction throughout their curriculum.

At a theoretical level, this project will inform a largely lacking ontological discourse about the ethical development of STEM students and faculty. Many prominent pedagogies in STEM ethics focus on ethical reasoning or sensitivity of students, but rarely have scholars investigated how the enactment of care practices and an authentic engagement with diversity influences the ethical subjectivities of STEM students and educators. By utilizing the I-CELER framework, Earth Sciences and Biomedical Engineering faculty will integrate ethical reflection and community engagement in their courses, thereby transforming the way disciplinary ethics are taught across the curricula.

The project will be researched using a convergent mixed methods design and will use multiple surveys, including the DIT2 and the Civic-Minded Graduate and Professional scales, along with data derived from ethnographic methods. By situating this design within an educational research and practice cycle, annual research insights will improve the next year's intervention, which will inform refined questions and hypotheses. In sum, this project will create a tested model for transforming the teaching and learning of STEM ethics.

SEIRI Personnel: Grant Fore; Justin L Hess; Brandon Sorge

Collaborators: Center for Service Learning; Institute for American Thought; School of Engineering & Technology; School of Science

Funding Organization: NSF Cross-Directorate

RFP: Cultivating Cultures for Ethical STEM (CCE STEM)

Grant Status: Current (09/01/2017 - 08/31/2022)

Award #: 1737157


STEM Education Innovation and Research Institute
Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research
755 W. Michigan Street
University Library, UL 1123
Indianapolis, IN 46202-2800