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Center for Advancing STEM Teaching, Learning and Evaluation (CASTLE)

About PEER

Discipline-based education research (DBER) holds the promise of satisfying expectations of both scholarship, which is increasing at teaching-centric institutions, and teaching effectiveness, a concern at all institutions. Additionally, junior education researchers seek more diverse training in research methods and theories. Emerging education researchers need support as they develop their research programs and expand their theoretical and methodological expertise, and they benefit from the guidance of knowledgeable peers and near-peers.

PEER 2019 Program: Dates TBD

The 2-week professional development and research community field school at Rochester Institute of Technology seeks to foster the growth and expansion of qualitative research methodology, from generating observational video data to preparing manuscripts for publication, through collaborative workshops and active research. Participants may join existing research working groups or propose new ones. After the summer PEER experience, the research team meets biweekly over Zoom video conferencing to continue analysis and receive feedback on in-progress papers. This is a great opportunity for solo DBERers to join a productive, geographically distributed research group.  

The field school will take place in June of 2019 (dates tbd); participants should commit to the entire period and participation in bi-weekly meetings throughout the '19-'20 academic year. We seek scholars who are familiar with independent research and want to expand their methodological repertoire. Preference will be given to junior faculty and DBER "switchers," but outstanding applicants from all levels will be considered.

Registration Fee:

PEER registration is $1,000 and covers dorm accommodations, breakfast and lunch throughout the two-week experience, and all local transportation. A small number of scholarships may be available. We encourage participants to also seek funding from their local institutions.

Apply Here  
Available Workshops

PEER-Rochester available projects include looking at the following questions:

  • How do students collaborate within and among lab groups, and how does the nature of that collaboration change over the course of the summer experience? Network analysis is used to track collaboration within and among lab groups of 3-4 students.
  • How do gender and ethnicity affect conversational equity in lab groups? Work is done in developing both quantitative and qualitative measures of equity, and comparing the measures among multiple groups.
  • When former IMPRESS students return as student leaders, how do their experiences in the program shape their interactions with students later on? The focus is on how student leader interactions with IMPRESS students change (or remain the same) as they move from participants to instructors.
  • How does participation in the program affect student views of the nature of science and the role of experimentation? When students conduct experiments, researchers learn about ideas around what makes an experiment "good,” and how table-top experiments are related to scientific practices.


World Locations

Rochester, NY: RIT IMPRESS Education Research Squad

Cologne: Conducting Research in Active and Inclusive Pedagogies. PEER-Cologne has their first ZuS Research Camp in Cologne.

Kibungo: Big data analytics and Internet of things (loT) in Education
As part of a conference around Big Data and Education— PEER leaders are working with faculty at UNIK to push their draft research papers to publication. We are forging collaborations with UNIK that will hopefully lead to more scholarship in the future.

Monterrey: Working groups for action research