Stephen Witzig

Stephen Witzig

Associate Professor

STEM Education & Teacher Development



Liberal Arts 398E


2012University of MissouriPhD in Science Education




Online and Continuing Education Courses

An advanced treatment of special topics in biology with an emphasis on recent developments. The subject matter varies from year to year.
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The use of current techniques and materials in science in grades 5-9. Using an integrated approach of pedagogy and content special attention will be given to new information technologies, reform-based teaching practices and problem-solving and reasoning. General science concepts are aligned with the academic standards of the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks. This course satisfies state initial license instructional methods requirements.
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A content/methods course designed to integrate four important aspects of teaching science in the school: becoming a reflective practitioner, gaining knowledge of oneself as a learner of science, gaining knowledge of oneself as a teacher of science, and gaining knowledge of children. This course prepares one to craft a science teaching practice that reflects current educational research, philosophies, and methodologies. DOE Subject Matter Knowledge Requirements are developed via class articles and learning experience and extension assignments. Educators will implement, evaluate, and reflect on instructional strategies unique to high school science teaching.
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Research awards

  • $ 599,926 awarded by National Science Foundation for Connecting Undergraduates to Biodiversity Instruction through Citizen Science (CUBICS)
  • $ 13,000 awarded by Lloyd Center for the Environment, Inc. for Lloyd Center-STEM Education PhD Fellowship Program


Research interests

  • Development of teachers’ specialized knowledge for teaching science
  • Socioscientific issues based education
  • Informal science contexts & field based teaching/learning
  • Scientific practices & formative assessment in science

Select publications

  • Sickel, A. J. & Witzig, S. B., (Eds.) (2017).
    Designing and teaching the secondary science methods course: An international perspective

  • Witzig, S. B., Halverson, K. L., Siegel, M. A., & Freyermuth, S. K. (2013).
    The interface of opinion, evaluation, and understanding while learning about a socioscientific issue
    International Journal of Science Education, 35(15), 2483-2507.
  • Witzig, S. B., Freyermuth, S. K., Siegel, M. A., Izci, K., & Pires, J. C. (2013).
    Is DNA alive? A study of conceptual change through targeted instruction
    Research in Science Education, 43(4), 1361-1375.

Dr. Witzig holds a Ph.D. in Science Education from the University of Missouri. He joined the UMass Dartmouth faculty in 2012 and teaches courses in both the Ph.D. program in STEM Education as well in the Masters of Arts in Teaching programs. Stephen’s research focuses on the development of teachers’ specialized knowledge for teaching science, scientific practices, and bridging research relationships among scientists, classroom teachers, and science teacher educators. His work focuses on the sources of teachers’ content and pedagogical knowledge, how experience shapes knowledge, socioscientific issues based education, qualitative methods in science education, and areas of student learning including the roles of students and teachers in learning science. He has published his work in the International Journal of Science Education, Research in Science Education, Journal of College Science Teaching, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, among others and has a co-edited book entitled Designing and Teaching the Secondary Science Methods Course: An International Perspective.

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