PKAL Inquiry Task Force


Enhancing inventiveness for quality of life, competitiveness, and sustainability
This report summarizes findings and recommendations of a yearlong study of invention and inventiveness. We have aimed, through an interdisciplinary approach to the subject,to shed new light on invention and on the special kind of creativity involved in inventing.
Individual Reflections
Recognizing that LI institutions and teams are at various stages in their proposed endeavors, PKAL would nevertheless like to begin to discern “what works” in creating and supporting STEM leadership for institutional transformation. To that end an advisory committee, the LI Inquiry Task Force, has begun to collect information regarding projects, progress and challenges from LI participants. Our goal is to assemble a picture of best practices that will benefit all of us committed to transformative STEM leadership. This particular request focuses on your individual experiences and reflections
Past Events and Activities
A detailed list of all PKAL events and activities.
Social Creativity
Making All Voices Heard
Gerhard Fischer
The power of the unaided individual mind is highly overrated. Much human creativity is social, arising from activities that take place in a social context in which interaction with other people and the artifacts that embody collective knowledge are essential contributors. Social creativity is not a luxury but a necessity to address the problems faced by societies in the 21st century. Our research has focused specifically on complex design problems requiring the contributions of many stakeholders. These stakeholders come from many different backgrounds, requiring cultural and epistemological pluralism to make all voices heard. We have developed socio-technical environments supporting these objectives in the specific contexts of urban planning, collaborative learning, and collaborative software design.
The Effect of Institutional Culture on Change Strategies in Higher Education
Universal Principles or Culturally Responsive Concepts?
Peter D. Eckel, Adrianna Kezar
The array of challenges that higher education faces today is virtually unparalleled when compared to any other point in U.S. history. The litany of changes is familiar to those in the field of higher education: financial pressure, growth in technology, changing faculty roles, public scrutiny, changing demographics, competing values, and the rapid rate of change in the world both within and beyond our national boarders. The changes many institutions face have accelerated beyond tinkering; more campuses each year attempt to create comprehensive (or transformational) change. Yet, change strategies have not been exceedingly helpful in their capacity to guide institutions, and we know even less about how to facilitate major, institutionwide change.
The Talent Imperative
Meeting America's Challenge in Science and Engineering, ASAP
BEST is a public-private partnership dedicated to building a stronger, more diverse U.S. workforce in science, engineering and technology by increasing the participation of under-represented groups. Its efforts reflect the growing realization that, historically, America has drawn upon a small segment of its population— and imported talent— to meet most of its needs for scientific and technological talent.
Themes for the PKAL Review of Data
Tracking the Processes of Change in US Undergraduate Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology
Elaine Seymour
This paper describes some features in the changing landscape of activities intended to improve both quality and access in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (SMET) undergraduate education.

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