SETS-UP Teacher Fellowship - Michigan State University - Teacher Education

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WKKF-WW Michigan State University

Gail Richmond
Ph.D., University of Connecticut

Gail Richmond is an professor of teacher education. Her research focuses on three areas. The first involves the question of scientific reasoning, and the impact of such reasoning ability on science achievement and career choices, such as research or science teaching. She is particularly interested in understanding better how the instructional context – from the university classroom to research apprenticeship experiences – can shape the development of such reasoning. The second focus is on identifying the critical knowledge and skills for effective science teaching and how two factors, an individual's perceptions and commitments as a developing teacher (professional identity) and the classroom and school context, shape this development of such knowledge and skills. She is particularly interested in how such development unfolds for those preparing to be teachers in high-need urban contexts, and how our understanding of this process might inform instruction which will support candidates who have such commitments and yield greater engagement and achievement in science by the students they teach. Her third focus is on understanding better those elements that allow teacher growth to occur within professional learning communities (PLCs), as well as the process by which these changes occur and may result in changes in classroom practice.
Ned Jackson
James (Ned) Jackson is a chemistry professor focused on the science needed to shift the basis of chemical and energy industries from fossil to sustainable carbon sources. By linking electricity from fossil-free energy generation (e.g. wind and solar) to renewable carbon from biomass, he aims to produce high energy, renewable fuels and chemical building blocks. Besides mentoring a research group of graduate and undergraduate students, he runs freshman seminars in green chemistry and organic lectures for majors. These education efforts seek to help students truly grasp and appreciate the invisible, non-intuitive realm of atoms and molecules, while pointing up their central role in understanding the world and its choices.
Joyce Parker
My research focuses on how undergraduates understand and apply scientific concepts. I am interested in developing assessment questions that diagnose the problems undergraduates' encounter as they learn new material and using that information to develop more effective teaching strategies. In particular, I am interested in how science majors, particularly those becoming science teachers, reason using basic principles such as conservation of matter and energy to monitor their growing understanding of science content. Current projects include analyzing K12 teachers' understanding of biology and the earth sciences and how problem-based learning can be used to improve it.