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Dr. Joanne Olson

Dr. Joanne Olson

Professor and Acting Department Head, Teaching, Learning & Culture

Research Interests
Science and Engineering Integration in K-5
Science Education
Science Teacher Preparation
The Nature of Science in Science Education
Dr. Joanne Olson is a professor in science education and the former president of the Association for Science Teacher Education. Her research efforts focus on: 1) science teacher preparation; 2) the inclusion of engineering in elementary science standards and how “STEM” is addressed by teachers and teacher education programs; 3) the nature of science and nature of engineering and their role in improving STEM education; 4) philosophical underpinnings of teacher education and their role in curriculum design and pedagogical practices. Dr. Olson is a recipient of several awards for her teaching and research, including the Outstanding Science Teacher Educator of the Year award from the Association for Science Teacher Education, and the Outstanding Paper Award from NARST, a worldwide organization for improving science teaching and learning through research. She was the PI of a $4.5M NSF-funded project to study triad teaching structures using engineering graduate students in elementary classrooms with student teachers, and remains active as a Co-PI on this project at TAMU. She is a former elementary and middle school science teacher from the Los Angeles area.
Books and Monographs
McKeon, R. (2016). On Knowing: The Social Sciences. D. B. Owen and J. K. Olson, Eds. University of Chicago Press.
Clough, M. P., Olson, J. K., & Neiderhauser, D. (Eds.) (2013). The nature of technology: Implications for learning and teaching. The Netherlands: Sense Publishers. ISBN: 978-6209-267-9
Journal Articles
Pleasants, J., Olson, J. K., & De La Cruz, I. (2020). Accuracy of elementary teachers’ representations of the projects and processes of engineering: Results of a professional development program. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 31(4), 362-383.
Tank, K. M., Pleasants, J., & Olson, J. K. (2021). Conceptual connections between science and engineering in elementary teachers’ unit plans. International Journal of STEM Education.
Haughery, J. R., Raman, D. R., Freeman, S. A., Olson, J. K. (2019). Robotics, student motivation, and academic success. International Journal of Engineering Education, 35(6), 1859-1871.
Pleasants, J. B., Clough, M. P., Olson, J. K., & Miller, G. (2019). Fundamental issues in the nature of technology: Implications for STEM education. Science & Education, 28(3), 561-597. DOI: 10.1007/s11191-019-00056-y Impact Factor: 1.265
Pleasants, J. B., & Olson, J. K. (2019). What is Engineering? Elaborating the Nature of Engineering for K-12 Education. Science Education, 103(1), 145-166. DOI: 10.1002/sce.21483 Impact Factor: 3.035
Pleasants, J. B., Olson, J. K., & Tank, K. M. (2019). What students learn from engineering instruction: Perspectives from elementary teachers. Journal of Science Teacher Education. Impact Factor: 1.14
Pleasants, J., Clough, M. P., & Olson, J. K. (2019). The urgent need to address the nature of technology: Implications for science education. B. Akpan (Ed.). Science Education: Visions of the Future.
Pleasants, J., & Olson, J. K. (2019). Accurately communicating the nature of engineering in the science classroom. B. Akpan (Ed.). Science Education: Visions of the Future.
Olson, J. K. (2018). The Inclusion of the Nature of Science in Nine Recent International Science Education Standards Documents. Science & Education, 27(7), 637-660. DOI: 10.1007/s11191-018-9993-8. Impact Factor: 1.265
Herman, B. C., Clough, M. P., & Olson, J. K. (2017). Pedagogical reflections by secondary science teachers at different NOS implementation levels. Research in Science Education, 47(1), 161-184. DOI 10.1007/s11165-015-9494-6
Herman, B. C., Olson, J. K., & Clough, M. P. (2017). The role of informal support networks in teaching the nature of science. Research in Science Education. DOI 10.1007/s11165-016-9610-2
Olson, J. K., Bruxvoort, C. N., & Vande Haar, A. J. (2016). The impact of video case content on preservice elementary teachers[8217] decision-making and conceptions of effective science teaching. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 53(7), 1500-1523. DOI: 10.1002/tea.21335
Zeidler, D. L, Herman, B. C., Clough, M. P., Olson, J. K., Herman, B. C., Kahn, S., & Newton, M. (2016). Humanitas Emptor: Reconsidering Recent Trends and Policy in Science Teacher Education. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 27(5), 465-476
Book Chapters
Olson, J. K. (2017). Teacher preparation for science education. In K. Taber and B. Akpan (Eds.). Science Education: An International Course Companion (pp. 523-537). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.
Olson, J. K. (2016). Afterword. In G. Buck and V. Akerson (Eds.). Enhancing professional knowledge of pre-service science teacher education by self-study research (pp. 457-462). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.
Collaborative Research: Science Modeling through Physical Computing:Contextualized Computational and Scientific Learning in the Grade 5-6Classroom12/31/202312
Co-PI. National Science Foundation (Federal)
2020-01-01 — 2023-12-31
Promoting Improvements in Teacher Quality Through Massively Open Online Professional Development
Co-I (). US Department of Education (Federal)
2018-07-01 — 2021-06-30
TEC-STEM Partnerships: Teachers & Engineers Collaborate for STEM in K-5
PI. Iowa State University – NSF (Federal)
2015-10-01 — 2019-09-30
Implications of Research for Educational Practice Award. Association for Science Teacher Education. (2021)
Outstanding New Faculty Award. School of Education and Human Development, Texas A&M University. (2020)
Innovation in Teaching Science Teachers award. Association for Science Teacher Education. (2017)
President, Association for Science Teacher Education (2014-2015)
Conference Chair, Association for Science Teacher Education annual meeting. (2017)

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