Obstacles to instructional innovation according to college science and mathematics faculty



Numerous studies have documented the infrequent use of learner-centered instruction in college science and mathematics classrooms and its negative effects on undergraduate learning and motivation. The present research deepened understanding of why. Specifically, an Internet survey was constructed that explored obstacles, supports, and incentives for instructional innovation in the classroom and was sent out to college science and mathematics faculty of Louisiana. Results revealed that colleges generally were perceived to assign little or an indeterminate weight to instruction in personnel decision making. Faculty members generally have little training in pedagogy; but when they do, they are more likely to consult sources of instructional innovation and consider teaching an important part of their professional identities. Data concerning the most common sources of instructional innovation information are presented. Several suggestions are made for institutional reform that if enacted might contribute to systemic improvement in the quality of instruction undergraduates receive. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach