“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

William Butler Yeats
My personal heroes are the classroom teachers of American public school system. These are individuals who have devoted their careers to the belief that education is essential for every generation.  My goal is to support these frontline troops in the war on ignorance using the research and resources available from the university and business communities.
My specific area of interest is science education in elementary and middle school.  This is an area of education rich with new opportunity and innovation, and I am particularly interested in current research at the forefront of science curriculum pedagogy.  The University of Cincinnati has an established reputation as a research university.  This makes UC an ideal setting for my program of study.  Naturally, I expected to learn and grow as a result of my studies; but the amount and depth of my new learning in this first year has surprised me.  This first year of my doctoral program has introduced me to new methodologies, both stated and hidden, for teaching young people.  My studies have caused me to realize that in order to truly serve today’s teachers, my ideas about teaching and learning must deepen and broaden.
My current work involves supporting science teachers in their schools, and over the past year, it has become clear to me that research is a key driver for pedagogy innovation.   In order to be an effective resource to teachers I must expand both my knowledge base of theoretical pedagogy and my abilities as an educational researcher. Currently in my work as the assistant academic director of the Ohio STEM Learning Network I have been peripherally involved in educational research.  My responsibilities have allowed me to manage research grants, attend research seminars, participate in meetings to plan research questions, and engage in conversations with faculty and educational researchers about their research endeavors.

My most recent work has been with two successful grants involving STEM methodologies.  This work is beginning to shape teaching practices of area teachers as they respond to calls for more effective science classrooms.  I am particularly interested in inquiry-based classroom practices, and STEM provides a valuable framework for inquiry.  My work with the Ohio STEM Learning Network has brought me into direct contact with hundreds of area science teachers, and I believe that current research in classroom pedagogy and content can be very valuable to these educators.  I intend for my research to help define ways to “operationalize” inquiry-based education in the classroom so that all students have an opportunity to learn and grow.

Comments are closed.