Department of Biological Sciences

Science Education Research

Biology educational research is an exciting area for students interested in seeking both graduate level biological content knowledge and an educational research focus. Graduate students become qualified as researchers, curriculum developers and practitioners who advance the scientific understanding and practice of teaching and learning. Students interested in this area of specialization may choose to work in different areas of research:

  • Investigate K-12 students and inservice teachers engagement in scientific practices (argumentation, modeling and explanation), project-based inquiry, learning progressions, science communication, informal science learning, professional development, curriculum design, and assessment. We work with many local area school districts in the Dayton region, including Dayton Regional STEM school (DRSS).
  • Investigate undergraduate student populations in biology and/or education in our biological sciences department and within/across the colleges. Explore how to transform our gateway introductory biology courses to increase student engagement, thinking and learning. Examine preservice teacher pedagogical content knowledge in our biology teacher preparation courses.

Recent Graduate Thesis/Dissertation Studies

  • Amber Todd. Ph.D Dissertation (2013). The Molecular Genetics Learning Progressions: Revisions and Refinements Based on Empirical Testing in Three 10th Grade Classrooms.
  • Michelle Cotterman. M.S. Thesis (2009). The Development of Preservice Elementary Teachers’ Pedagogical Content Knowledge for Scientific Modeling.