FORRT brings the open scholarship and reproducible science movements to teaching and mentoring, in pursuit of the best conceivable practices in higher education. Our aspiration is to build, together with educators, a pathway towards the incremental adoption of open and reproducible science tenets in education.
Instead of encouraging an atmosphere of competition, we are compiling best practices in teaching open science, scientific literacy, and related topics, while advocating for structural change to foster a collaborative and conducive environment. FORRT supports endeavors to seriously examine current practices in higher education around the perceived relative importance of different academic activities and elevating teaching-related activities within those hierarchies.
With FORRT, educators in higher-education have increased opportunities to shape the minds and future of the consumers of science and the next generation of academics. Numerous scholars consider as a significant part of their responsibilities to contribute to the next generations’ edification and professional development – i.e., broadening their horizons, imparting expertise into the acquisition of knowledge independently, fostering the conditions to discover connections of seemingly unrelated phenomena, helping develop the tools and self-confidence necessary to challenge outdated dogma and its roots on current societal and educational institutions. FORRT will help educators in accomplishing these downstream goals. In this sense, at its best, FORRT should be the answer to the question “what are the best conceivable educational practices in higher education and how to achieve it?” Unrelated, but equally important, FORRT hopes to contribute to the sustainability of the grassroots movement for the improvement of science and help foster social justice through the democratization of scientific educational resources and pedagogies.
FORRT will have at its disposal a database that combines mentoring and teaching evaluations with its possible causes and correlates. This pedagogic assessment enables a nuanced perspective on the degree of open and reproducible research teaching and mentoring. We have developed a survey to collect information about the extent to which principled teaching and mentoring are implemented in diverse institutions around the globe. Not only should it provide the community with a birds’ eye view into current practices, but it may also help elucidate the factors behind the emergence, development, and sustainability of scientific integrity, principled teaching and open education. For example, in coordination with institutions like the UK’s Reproducibility Network, the German Open-Science Network (NOSI), and the Dutch NWO – all of which share a common mission: investigating factors that contribute to research integrity, robust research practices, promoting training activities, and disseminating best practices – FORRT’s assessment may provide these stakeholders data with which to inform and substantiate policy proposals and advocacy. Indeed, FORRT is in a prime position to mediate the demands between empirical and normative components on a range of emerging and contemporary (politico-)scientific debates. FORRT hopes to work with national and regional ‘open science and education’ institutions – and agencies, organizations, groups and individuals, both in wider society and the local community – to ensure that FORRT’s potential is useful and impactful beyond its main educational scope, and to all those seeking to engage the scientific community.