I taught middle and high school physics, chemistry, physical science, biology, ecology, computer programming, etc for 20 years before returning to Penn State to work on a Ph.D. in science education. During my 20 years of public school teaching, I also coached field hockey, soccer, basketball and softball, and served as athletic director for several years. I was also an EMT and helped start the University of Vermont Rescue Squad. In 1999 when I finished my studies at Penn State I came directly to USM and have served as the science educator in the Teacher Education Department since that time.
Hands-on interactive inquiry learning including ample use of appropriate technology would sum up my philosophy. I share the perspective of Dewey, Piaget, Vygotsky, and other theorists who feel that students need to be an active part of the learning process. In addition, anytime you can bring a student outside of the classroom and connect learning to the rest of the surrounding environment retention of information is enhanced.
My research attempts to observe how contextualized interactions between the learner and his or her environment promote the development of deeper understanding of science concepts. The work I am currently participating in builds on a descriptive scholarly paper about "In-the-Field" Inquiry Learning: Pre-Service teachers use hand-held technology to study water quality. Dr. Robert Sanford from the College of Applied Science and Engineering Technology and I are developing pre and post assessments that can be used to gather statistical data about the change in the students' understanding around the concepts of Environmental Science and water quality.
I enjoy participating in almost all sports. I hope to keep playing basketball and softball for many more years. I also enjoy being outdoors and hiking, canoeing, fishing, skiing, etc. I like to dabble in nature photography and have been excited about the developments in digital photography. I have a wonderful wife, three older children, two little dogs and a frog.