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Reading Reflections

Table of contents
  1. 1. Pre-Institute Assignment #2

Pre-Institute Assignment #2


“Like all forms of scholarship, the scholarship of teaching has to be motivated finally by personal commitments. … The wrong reason to do the scholarship of teaching is because it’s now listed in the criteria for promotion and tenure; that’s a formula for turning important  work into just a job, one more hurdle or task. I think there’s an important message here  about passions, and pursing ideas that really matter to you.” 

 Various quantitative studies have arguably showed an increase in college graduation rates for minorities. This brings positive attention until you look at the STEM field in which statistics have shown that black males account for less than 6% of the student population in STEM fields, while the number for minority women are rapidly increasing but still far below that of white and Asians.  My research problem is how do we increase the graduation rates of minority males on a HBCU campus.  Although this is a national problem, I believe that I have a better understanding of how to address this problem, which would fall in line with the 1st of the 2 questions in addressing a ”problem” in research and teaching. 

As Bass stated, “what matters most is for teachers to investigate the problems that matter most to them,” I sincerely believe that my love for science and the disproportionate numbers in the graduation rates in STEM that drive me to make changes.  While matriculating through my degrees and being awarded these STEM fellowships, I often found it hard to identify with the person that was in charge of the program. The “problem” that I have chosen to focus on has guided me to identify factors that Shulman states should be at the basis of all scholarly work; my vision is to positively engage minority male students in the STEM field, designed by grouping students of similar underrepresented backgrounds in one organization in order to have quality interactions, increased student grades for outcomes, and increase in matriculation rates.  I see these processes of teaching as being huge steps in fully addressing my research problem, but I also understand that I need other methods of conducting this research on a quantitative and qualitative perspective. In reading the problem with teaching, I understand that I will be faced with a variety of problems that deal with understanding, mastery, and baseline knowledge.   

My research problem involves a bigger scope than just in the classroom, and I ultimately have to understand what is driving each and every one of my minority male students in their quest to obtaining a degree in STEM.   In the Class Action Research paper, I found that the analysis of a problem in education is not that different from what we use in the STEM field known as the “scientific method.”  The seven-step process in CAR has me intrigued with endless outcomes and performance indicators to gather data and make a concrete argument of how implementing my program has and will address gaps in the STEM field.  These endless thoughts lead me to think that my research question has a taxonomy that is more correlated to that of Salvatori, which is designed to achieve or investigate a vision of the possible. 

Results from these studies could lead to the overall anomaly of how to help black male students succeed in the classroom and add to the increase in percentages for the number of minorities in the STEM field.  These studies are very premature and have not produced any data as of right now, but the students have taken learning styles assessments and we are currently going through these assessments to verify and interpret findings.  These assessments I think are the first example of a quantitative measure for my research problem.  I think that as I progress more in articles like these then I will be able to gain more insight of how to appropriately measure what I am trying to achieve. 


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