Call for Applications- Deadline December 15, 2002
DATA ANALYSIS INTO THE CURRICULUM
The American Sociological Association (ASA) seeks applications from sociology departments interested in integrating data analyses into the curriculum. This project is a collaborative effort between ASA and the successful Social Science Data Analysis Network (SSDAN) project at the University Michigan. The project aims to work with departments to address the "scientific literacy" gap for undergraduate students in sociology.
Departments, not individuals, will
apply to participate in this project and will implement data modules into non-research
methods courses to foster students' inquiry skills and increase scientific literacy.
Selected departments will infuse these changes into courses so that they penetrate
and endure in the curriculum and are more than the initiatives of individual
faculty members. SSDAN data modules will be tailored to specific courses in
the curriculum. These modules will utilize Census data, including from the 2000
Census, and some other data sources as well. The ASA-SSDAN team will provide
training to a department's faculty and follow-up support to assist departments
in incorporating scientific reasoning into the curriculum of departments in
ways that reach all students.
While the undergraduate sociology major typically includes one or more courses in research methods, this segment of the curriculum poses challenges for faculty and students. Sociology has one of the latest declaring majors. Even when the methods component is required early in the major, students either put it off or take these courses as advanced undergraduates who are new to the major. In some programs, formal methods courses are disconnected from other course experiences throughout the major. Over recent years, the American Sociological Association has encouraged data analysis skills and research training "early and often," preferably with several developmentally sequenced courses and projects. Lower division courses provide an excellent opportunity to convey the excitement of scientific discovery to students who will major in sociology or in other fields.
The "Integrated Data Analysis" (IDA) project consists of intensive work with twelve departments (the first six met in summer 2002 and six more are needed in 2003). Departments must make a commitment as a group to infuse data analysis into the lower division courses. A critical mass (at least half) of the departments' members will attend a 4-day summer workshop in June, and then would further develop and use data modules in courses the following academic year(s). Each department would receive "technical assistance" from the ASA-SSDAN team, including a site visit to campus to work on the implementation plans the department has set for itself.
Funding and Support
Departments selected to participate would receive support for travel and on-site costs for the summer workshops. Also departments receive ongoing technical assistance and site visits without any cost to them. The selected departments are responsible for supporting implementation (e.g., a work study student or teaching assistant to help with technical issues; course release or other support for engaging in this project; appropriate equipment).
Applications should not exceed ten pages, including a statement of:
Applications should also provide information on the number of majors and degrees conferred each year and the size and backgrounds of the faculty. The complete application packet (including department and faculty forms) is available on the ASA website at http://www2.asanet.org/members/ida-app.html.
Applications should specify a faculty member who will serve as the IDA coordinator and the specific faculty who will participate (including attendance at the summer workshop and use of modules in courses in the 2002-2003 academic years). At least half of a department's faculty needs to participate (at least seven for a department of 15 or larger). The department project coordinator will write semi-annual reports about the project training and implementation in the department, and assess its impact.
Applications to become a 2003 IDA department are due December 15, 2002. The ASA-SSDAN team will make selections by mid-January 2003. The six departments selected to start in 2003 will begin some preparatory work across the winter-spring semester of 2003, prior to the training workshop in June. Tentative dates for the workshops are June 12-15, 2003, and June 19-22, 2003, with three departments participating in each workshop. Workshops will be held at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI.
In addition to the June workshops, selected departments will meet at the ASA Annual Meeting in August 2003, in Atlanta, GA. Each of the department faculty members is expected to implement a module or modules using the training and data sets in at least one course during academic year 2003-2004. The ASA project staff will make a site visit to each department, and all participating faculty should be available to meet about the project during those visits (approximately two days).
The Principal Investigators of the Integrating Data Analysis Project are William H. Frey, University of Michigan, and Carla B. Howery, ASA. The Co-Principal Investigators are Havidan Rodriguez, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, and Kerry Strand, Hood College. This collaborative project is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation Division of Undergraduate Education to the University of Michigan and the American Sociological Association.
Last Updated on January 08, 2005