Ginger V. Shultz
University of Michigan
Ginger Shultz is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Michigan. Ginger completed her doctorate in polymer chemistry at the University of Oregon and transitioned to education-focused research through a teaching postdoc in Chemistry at the University of Michigan. In 2013 she was named a UM Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow and she was hired as faculty in 2016. Ginger’s research is focused on investigating student learning in problem-based organic chemistry laboratory courses, how graduate students instructors develop teaching knowledge, and writing-based strategies for learning in STEM.
A story of writing to learn: How writing is changing the way students learn science at the University of Michigan
Stories are the means by which we make sense of our experiences. One pedagogical approach that builds from our natural storytelling instincts is writing to learn. Writing engages students in solidifying tacit and unformed ideas and in connecting these ideas together. Writing also draws on story telling as students translate science ideas and engage with a particular audience. Despite the advantages of writing-to-learn pedagogies, writing to learn is not often used in introductory science courses. In this session, I will tell the story of an effort to increase the use of writing to learn at the University of Michigan and other U.S Institutions. As part of this effort, we conducted a national survey aimed at understanding our audience, science instructors, and what motivates their classroom decisions so that we could better support faculty in the use of writing. We also partnered with faculty to develop writing-to-learn assignments that were tailored for their learning goals and classroom contexts.
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