CCSE seminar series: Dr. Valerie Peterson: Institutional Change in STEM: The Role of Peer Observation in the Adoption of Evidence-Based Instructional Practices

In this session, we describe how peer observation can be used to promote lasting adoption of evidence-based instructional practices.

Picture of Valerie Peterson

Valerie Peterson

Redesigning Education For Learning through Evidence and Collaborative Teaching (REFLECT) is a three-year NSF-funded project that leverages theories of institutional change to shift teaching culture toward more student-centered approaches.

In particular, this model supports instructors by building community centered around peer observation. In doing so, the project aligns with Henderson and colleagues’ (2011) three characteristics of effective change efforts:

  1. it address participant beliefs through structured reflection,
  2. it involves long-term intervention via a cohort model, and
  3. it is designed to be compatible with the larger structure within the university.

This talk describes both affordances of and barriers to implementing peer observation, and provides insight into ways to mitigate those barriers.


Valerie Peterson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Portland. She received her PhD from the University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign and has become increasingly involved in the Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education (RUME) community in the past several years.

Published Oct. 4, 2019 2:02 PM - Last modified Mar. 4, 2020 5:46 PM