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Toronto Metropolitan University
Department of Chemistry and Biology


Research Interests

Failure is a critical part of the learning process (Kapur, 2015; Henry et al., 2019) and is foundational to the scientific process (Sterner and DiTeresi, 2021). It prompts reflection and modification of one’s approach and can lead to scientific discoveries previously unknown. Despite the importance of failure to scientists (and scientists in training), the skills of how to fail well and bounce back from failure are not commonly embedded in STEM course design at the post-secondary level. Our research attempts to address this gap by building a discipline-based approach to integrating productive failure into course designs. Specifically, we develop classroom interventions and assessments to help instructors and students learn from failure and encourage more equitable help-seeking.

  • Henry, M. A., Shorter, S., Charkoudian, L., Heemstra, J. M., & Corwin, L. A. (2019). FAIL Is Not a Four-Letter Word: A Theoretical Framework for Exploring Undergraduate Students' Approaches to Academic Challenge and Responses to Failure in STEM Learning Environments. CBE Life Sci Educ, 18(1), ar11.

  • Kapur, M. (2015). Learning from productive failure. Learning: Research and Practice, 1(1), 51-65.

  • Sterner, B., & DiTeresi, C. (2021). Making coherent senses of success in scientific modeling. European Journal for Philosophy of Science, 11(1), 1–20.

A pedagogy-focused research program. Our aim is to foster inclusive learning environments that best support the development of resilient future scientists.

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