Extended Teacher Education Program (ETEP)

Robert Kuech

Associate Professor

Office Location

500 Bailey Hall

Phone

(207) 780-5089

Academic Degrees

  • Ph.D., Science Education, Pennsylvania State University
  • M.S., Botany, Central Connecticut State College
  • B.A., Zoology, University of Vermont, Burlington

Profile

Professional Background

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.

Teaching Perspective

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. 

Personal Side

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.

Research Interests

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.