CREATE Science Seminar: Matt Hora


Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm


252 Erickson Hall

Light lunch available at 11:45 a.m. This presentation is followed by a one-hour discussion with graduate students and post-docs in 115 Erickson at 1:15 p.m.

How Descriptive Practice-Based Research Can Inform Instructional and Cultural Change

Matt Hora

Assistant Professor, Adult Teaching and Learning in the Department of Liberal Arts and Applied Studies, University of Wisconsin

Many postsecondary educators and policymakers are interested in changing faculty instructional practices and the culture of teaching within their institutions. Yet effecting such change is notoriously difficult to do. Research in public health and education indicates that designing interventions that map onto existing cultural practices are more effective than simply imposing new policies and practices onto local populations in a top-down manner. In this talk I will discuss the growing field of descriptive practice-based research in education, and how theory and method from anthropology, psychology, and the decision sciences can be used to document what STEM faculty actually think about and do in their day-to-day work. Using examples from research on faculty belief systems, cultural models for teaching, and more recent work on data driven decision-making in STEM departments, I will then discuss the implications of these studies for those interested in facilitating instructional cultural change in higher education. 

About the Speaker:
Matthew Hora is an Assistant Professor in Adult Teaching and Learning in the Department of Liberal Arts and Applied Studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a research scientist at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research. He also has an appointment in the Center for Education and Work and is a staff affiliate at the Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (WISCAPE). After several years of experience in organic agriculture and food systems research, Matt received his master's degree in applied anthropology from the University of Maryland-College Park. He earned his Ph.D. in the learning sciences from the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

See below for relevant publications by Dr. Hora