Pradeep “Max” Dass, Ph.D.
Lawrence J. Walkup Distinguished Professor of Science Education
Science & Health Bldg. (#36), Rm. 548
Ph.D., Science Education, The University of Iowa, 1997
M.S., Science Education, The University of Iowa, 1990
M.Sc., Botany, Gorakhpur University, India, 1978
B.Sc., Biology, Gorakhpur University, India, 1976
My research and scholarly interests span the full continuum of teacher professional learning, often described in two distinct stages: Pre-service teacher preparation and in-service teacher professional development. In both stages, my primary interest is to investigate approaches to teaching and learning that promote science education in the context of real life situations, issues, problems and questions (such as the Science-Technology-Society approach, Model-Based Inquiry approach, etc.) and those pedagogies that enable students to engage in and experience authentic scientific practices within K-16 educational contexts (such as the Learning Cycle approach, Argument-Driven Inquiry approach, etc.).
I am also interested in investigating how learning about the history and philosophy of science in general or of a specific science discipline (such as biology) contributes to student understanding of the nature of the scientific enterprise as a whole or in specific scientific disciplines. Finally, given my background in biology and my Christian faith, I am interested in investigating the intersections of scientific knowledge and religious beliefs and studying how one makes sense of and deals with the controversies that seem to often arise between new scientific findings and religion-based information.
Since 2013, I have been the Director of the Center for Science Teaching and Learning (CSTL) where I also hold the Lawrence J. Walkup Distinguished Professorship and serve as the co-director of the NAUTeachProgram. Before coming to NAU, I spent 13 years at Appalachian State University (AppState) in Boone, North Carolina, working as a professor of science education and coordinator of the secondary science teacher education program in the Department of Biology. Prior to this, I spent three years at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) in Chicago as an assistant professor of science education. At AppState as well as at NEIU, I was involved in both science teacher education and biology disciplinary instruction (including majors as well as non-majors introductory course lectures and labs, and an upper level History of Science course). At AppState I developed and taught a College Science Instruction course designed to help biology graduate students learn pedagogies for effective science instruction at the post-secondary level.
Before embarking on my university career as a science educator, I spent 14 years as a secondary school science teacher (primarily biology), including 10 years at Woodstock School—a private, international, college prep, residential high school—in India.As a result of working at Woodstock School, I developed a strong international perspective on education. While my school teaching career gave me a good sense of the value of high quality science education at the school level, my university career has given me an extensive background in science teacher education both as an instructor and administrator of science teacher education programs. Beginning with my doctoral dissertation research (implementation and evaluation of the Iowa Chautauqua Program for K-12 science teacher professional development) and continuing throughout my university career, my scholarly activities have focused on and resulted in the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of a variety of professional development programs for K-12 in-service science teachers.
Selected Scholarly Activities
Teachers and Principals Together–A team approach to implementing Arizona’s College and Career-Ready Standards (AZCCRS) in mathematics and the Vision of Effective Science Education as Outlined in A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Awarded in May 2015. (CoPI; $311,127; an Improving Teacher Quality Project).
Science and Mathematics Integration for Literacy Enhancement (Project SMILE): An Exploratory Project submitted to the Discovery Research K–12 Program at National Science Foundation (PI; Submitted January 2009; $449,827; Awarded September 2009).
Quality Teaching and Learning = High Levels of Science Instruction (QTL = ^S): A Mathematics and Science Partnership grant project between Cleveland, McDowell, and Rutherford County Schools and Appalachian State University. Awarded by the Mathematics and Science Partnerships Program administered through North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Raleigh, NC. (CoPI as the Appalachian State University partner; total budget $820,076; Awarded April 2007.)
Dass, P. M. (2018). In-service Teacher Enhancement for Improved Science Curriculum Transaction: The Appalachian STS Project. In Ladage, S. & Narvekar, S (Eds.) epiSTEME-7 International Conference to review research on Science, Technology and Mathematics Education Proceedings, pp. 195 – 203. Mumbai, India: Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education.
Dass, P. M. & Spagnolo, J. T. (2016). STEM Learning in middle grades by technology-mediated integration of science and mathematics: Results of Project SMILE. In M. J. Urban & D. A. Falvo (Eds.), Improving K-12 STEM education outcomes through technological integration, pp. 187 – 205. Hershey, PA: IGI Global (Information Science Reference).
Dass, P. M. & Moore, Jr., E. (2015). Integrating science, mathematics and technology in middle grades. School Science Review, 97(359), 109 – 115.
Dass, P. M. (2015). Teaching STEM effectively with the Learning Cycle Approach. K-12 STEM Education, 1(1), 5 – 12.
Dass, P. M., Wilbanks, L., Goforth, J., Graham, L., Francis, J. (2013). “Doing Science” in Middle Grades: Instructional Coaching and Modeling of a Learning Cycle Approach promote Scientific Practices. In S. Koba & B. Wojnowski (Eds.), Exemplary science: Best practices in professional development, Second Edition, pp. 51 – 82. Arlington, VA: National Science Teachers Association Press.
Tuberty, B.I., Dass, P.M., Windelspecht, M. (2011). Student Understanding of Scientific Hypotheses, Theories & Laws: Exploring the influence of a non-majors college introductory Biology course. International Journal of Biology Education, 1(1), 23 – 44.
Dass, P. M., Hofstein, A., Mamlok, R., Dawkins, K., Penick, J. E. (2008). Action Research as Professional Development of Science Teachers. In Ingrid V. Eriksson (Ed.), Science Education in the 21st Century, pp. 205 – 240. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
In-service Teacher Enhancement for Improved Science Curriculum Transaction: The Appalachian STS Project. At the epiSTEME-7 International Conference to review research on Science, Technology and Mathematics Education, Mumbai, India, January 2018.
Center for Science Teaching and Learning: STEM Education and Research across the Teacher Learning Continuum. At the 2017 Annual National Conference of Network of STEM Education Centers (NSEC), New Orleans, Louisiana, June 2017.
Transformative Teacher Education: What Research Tells us about Developing Pedagogical Reasoning. At the UTeach Annual National Conference, Austin, Texas, May 2017. (with Kirsten Daehler)
Considering the Integration of Principles of Ambitious Teaching into the NAUTeach Program. At the UTeach Annual National Conference, Austin, Texas, May 2017. (with the NAUTeach Program Faculty Team)
Three-Dimensional Science Instruction using the Learning Cycle Approach. At the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Annual Conference, Los Angeles, California, March 2017.
Connecting Biology to Real Life in a College Non-majors Course. At the East Asian Association for Science Education (EASE) Biennial Conference, Tokyo, Japan, August 2016.
Integrated Middle Grades STEM Instruction. At the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee, March 2016.
Stem Learning in Middle Grades by Technology Mediated Integration of Science and Mathematics: Results of Project SMILE. At the Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE) Annual International Conference, Reno, Nevada, January 2016.
STEM Teacher Workforce Enhancement: Contributions of a university based Center. At the 21st Century STEM: Integrate 2 Innovate Conference, Phoenix, Arizona, January 2016 (with Joelle Clark and Sharon Cardenas)
HEAR Science, SEE Science, or Do Science? Enlivening Students’ Science Learning Experiences. An Invited Special Presentation at The International Science, Mathematics and Technology Education Conference (ISMTEC), Bangkok, Thailand, January 2013.