Key Focus Areas are:
1) Scholarship of Pedagogy - CASTLE supports faculty efforts on pedagogical scholarship, evaluation and assessment, and foster innovation in the classroom.
2) Discipline-based Education Research (DBER) - The Science & Math Education Research Collaborative (SMERC) conducts rigorous discipline-based education research on issues involving postsecondary student learning, and members have a track record of peer-reviewed publications and external funding.
3) Educational Transformation - The Center promotes and fosters innovative curricula for national dissemination. The College hosts several model curricula, including: LivePhoto, VideoVignettes, and Explorations in Physics. The Center will aggressively seek external funding for these projects.
4) K-20 Teacher Recruitment, Preparation and Professional Development - CASTLE takes an active role in preparing the next generation of STEM teachers through undergraduate and graduate student education. Examples of activities include the RIT Learning Assistant program to recruit and prepare future secondary school teachers.
5) Education and Careers of Groups Historically Excluded from the STEM Disciplines - This includes collaborations with Women in Science (WISe), a CASTLE-affiliated program that seeks to engage women in the sciences and mathematics by offering information, equity and collaboration opportunities. The Center helps coordinate WISe activities, and supports efforts to secure external funding through foundations and local and national industries.
The Center’s Vision is to:
- Nurture a community of faculty, administrators, and staff interested in science and math education and pedagogy. CASTLE facilitates dialog about evidence-based practices, discipline-based education research, and methods of assessment and evaluation.
- Establish a robust and sustainable infrastructure that transforms science educational practices, supports discipline-based education research, and promotes K-20 teacher and faculty recruitment, preparation, professional development, and outreach.
- Foster innovations in education by integrating an interdisciplinary community of scholars; promoting, sustaining, and evaluating reform efforts; advocating for diversity and access; and influencing policy, fundraising, and public outreach.
Flagship programs include:
- The Science & Mathematics Education Research Collaborative, a leading innovator in discipline-based education research.
- The Learning Assistant program, which facilitates faculty efforts at transforming classrooms and attracts students toward careers in 9-12 STEM education.
- Project IMPRESS (Integrating Metacognitive Practice and Research to Ensure Student Success), which seeks to improve learning through direct instruction in metacognition, including accurate self-assessment and sense-making