The beliefs and practices of 21 faculty engaged in the STEM instruction of freshmen engineering students were examined in this study. Specifically, the degree to which faculty beliefs conformed to a Student-centered approach versus a Teacher-centered approach, and the degree to which these orientations were related to learner-centered classroom practice, was assessed. Four data collection methods were employed: faculty interviews, faculty surveys, observation protocol scores and qualitative classroom observations. Hierarchical Cluster Analysis of faculty responses to the Approaches to Teaching Inventory revealed three coherent groups of faculty who held common beliefs: Faculty who displayed Student-centered beliefs, faculty who displayed Teacher-centered beliefs, and faculty who displayed non-discriminatory beliefs. These beliefs corresponded closely to assessment of their classroom practice. Student-centered faculty engaged in more learner centered practices than either Teacher-centered faculty or non-discriminating faculty. Results showed that the Freshman Engineering departments and the Mathematics department had the most within-department consistency in their teaching delivery and environment. Instruction delivery ranged from mostly lecture with pauses for questions in one of the physics classes, to shared problem solving in one of the mathematics classes, to student led activities in engineering. Student interactions with each other during class ranged from very little, particularly in the large lecture halls, to almost constant collaboration in classes with laboratory formats. Implications for faculty development for the improvement of freshman engineering programs are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Making Value for Society
PublisherAmerican Society for Engineering Education
StatePublished - 2015
Event2015 122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Seattle, United States
Duration: Jun 14 2015Jun 17 2015


Other2015 122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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