University of Maine at Presque Isle Professor of Biology Dr. Bonnie Wood was in Indianapolis this spring to present a full-day Professional Development Institute on lecture-free teaching ahead of the National Conference on Science Education.
Professional Development Institutes – defined as events that focus on "Research-Based Strategies for Student-Centered Learning" – are pre-conference events that occur the day before the national conference, organized by the National Science Teachers Association [NSTA].
Her hands-on workshop was entitled Lecture-Free Teaching: A Learning Partnership between Science Educators and their Students. The 30 pre-registered participants were a mix of middle school, high school and college science educators and administrators.
During the morning session, participants played the role of student as Dr. Wood simulated a typical science classroom using a variety of her lecture-free teaching methods. Educators experienced how the interplay of student preparation before class, cooperative learning, and formative assessment techniques allow a teacher to achieve course content identical to that of a lecture-based course. After lunch, participants followed Dr. Wood's 13 steps to lecture-free teaching to plan revisions of their own.
While she was in Indianapolis, Dr. Wood completed her two-year term as an elected Councilor-at-Large on the Executive Board of the Society for College Science Teachers [SCST] by attending her final board meeting.
Also this spring, Dr. Wood was invited to serve as a presenter at Husson University by its Faculty Development and Evaluation Committee. She led a full-day workshop entitled Lecture-Free Teaching: A Learning Partnership between College Educators and their Students on April 20 for Husson faculty of all disciplines.
The day's 40 participants represented faculty teaching Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Nursing, Pharmacy, English, Philosophy, Psychology, Spanish, Business, Statistics, Criminal Justice, Education, Physics, Math, and Biology. To accommodate such a diverse audience, Dr. Wood modeled techniques appropriate for a variety of students. Her book Lecture-Free Teaching [NSTA Press, 2009] was used as a workbook in the afternoon to help participants plan their own course reforms.