We aim to enrich higher education by growing a character of love in teachers in higher education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) through a workshop series and community building. We will assist teachers to (1) be aware of the beliefs that shape their character and behavior, (2) reframe these beliefs in a positive way, and (3) develop teaching habits that bring a character of love to the classroom. We refer to this as Teaching with a Heart.
This project addresses the following questions: What does a character of love (heart) in the STEM-classroom in higher education mean, and in what ways might it be expressed to be beneficial for students and teachers? How can we grow a character of love in STEM teachers in higher education, and how is this shaped by their beliefs and practice? How can a character of love be nurtured in STEM higher education teachers?
We will develop a community of teachers sensitive to the impact of love on student learning and development. We conduct a systematic literature review and interviews with stakeholders on the role of love in learning and teaching and construct a theoretical framework relevant to STEM higher education. We will develop a workshop series that employ experiential and meditative techniques to help participants develop an awareness of their beliefs--especially those that cultivate a character of love—and that assists them to reframe their beliefs in a positive way. We will run regular follow-up sessions with participating teachers and develop best practices to Teach with a Heart. We will assess the impact of the training and disseminate findings in the education community and to the general public. The project will indirectly expose at least 4500 students to a nurturing classroom experience, which provides them with positive role models in formative years of their professional growth.