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STLCC Professor Collaborates on NSF Grant Project

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

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Reni JosephReni Joseph, Ph.D., chemistry professor at St. Louis Community College, is participating in a project to prepare graduates to enter the STEM workforce and become well-informed and involved citizens. 

The project, “Developing Deliberative Pedagogy for use in Chemistry Classroom,” will determine whether deliberative pedagogy enhances scientific learning, encourages a deliberative mindset, and deepens students’ sense of civic engagement. It is funded by a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. 

Wabash College faculty members Laura Wysocki, Ph.D., and Sara Drury, Ph.D., will serve as principal investigators. In addition to STLCC, Gustavus Adolphus College, Colorado State University and South Western College will participate. 

By testing the use of deliberative pedagogy in chemistry courses at two four-year colleges and a community college as well as assessing the impact of facilitator training, the project will investigate whether similar student outcomes can be achieved across diverse institutions and student demographics. 

After receiving training in deliberation module implementation and assessment developed at Wabash College, Joseph will translate the module to her STLCC classroom. 

“I’m excited about this opportunity,” Joseph said. “Deliberative pedagogy will enable students to participate in socio-economic issues and will maximize student engagement in science.” 

The results from this project will be submitted for publication in relevant pedagogical journals, including the Journal of Chemical Education and the Journal of Public Deliberation. Joseph will also disseminate her findings to two-year colleges through a workshop at the Two-Year College Chemistry Consortium, a branch of the American Chemical Society (ACS) Division of Chemical Education. 

Joseph is actively involved in chemistry at the international, national and local levels. Joseph also serves as the national program chair for the Committee of Minority Affairs, American Chemical Society (ACS) and as the “Kids and Chemistry” coordinator for the ACS local section promoting chemistry and STEM education in the community. 

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