Job Title: Senior Research Associate
Type of Company: I work for a non-profit organization that does curriculum development and research on education and health.
Education: BA in Chemistry, New York University MA in Curriculum and Instruction, University of Colorado, Denver EdD in Education Administration, Training and Policy Studies, Boston University
Previous Experience: I worked for five years as a middle school science teacher, then was a doctoral student, holding graduate teaching positions at the university. I also worked as part of a research team for an education research and development organization
Job Tasks: My day to day work varies and my focus changes over long periods of time. Currently I am working on six projects related to improving the quality of science education. On four of them I am an external evaluator of either science curricula or school programs. This means that another organization directs the project and we determine whether they have met their goals, whether students have learned what they were supposed to, or whether teachers were able to implement the program as anticipated.
We are continually gathering data, by interviewing teachers or creating surveys or tests for students. For example, the American Museum of Natural History in New York City has an after school program for high school students. We are working with the museum to document students' growth over time and get participants' feedback on the structure of the program. We currently have a survey where students respond to questions about what they are learning and their motivation to pursue a career in science.
The other two projects involve developing a tool for observing science instruction. Through reading, examining other similar tools, observing classroom instruction, and meeting with other members of our team, we are continually revising this tool, referred to as an observation protocol. The intent is that others who evaluate science curricula and eventually school administrators will be able to use it in order to judge the effectiveness of science curricula and instruction.
Other work that I do on a regular basis involves finding funding for my work and writing reports to funders and those in charge of the projects. We are mostly funded through the National Science Foundation, so I am continually thinking about what to propose for our next project, and looking for other funding sources. I also regularly respond to calls from other organizations who are looking for evaluators for their projects.
The last part of my work involves presenting what I do to others in the same field. Last month I travelled to Orlando, FL to present to school administrators who are interested in observing classroom science teaching. I also recently traveled to San Diego for a national conference to present the results of previous work.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The job varies every day, which I enjoy. No two days are the same. I also enjoy my co-workers and am continually meeting new people. I like the idea that I am working to improve science education, and ultimately, improve students understanding of science and motivation to become scientists.
1. Learn statistics and do what you can to get real research experience where you work with real data and perform real analyses. 2. Have experience as a classroom teacher first. This will ground you in the area you are studying. It provides a way for you to look at what you are doing where you can understand the demands of the profession, but be able to look at it with a critical eye. 3. Take on a leadership role wherever you are.
Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .
Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school
Why earn your degree at Grand Canyon University? GCU is a regionally accredited university offering graduate and undergraduate degrees in Business, Nursing, Psychology, Education & more. Apply today!
Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017
Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.
Concordia University - Portland offers several fully online 14-month Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs and a fully online Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) program.
At Post University, we believe you shouldn’t have to put your life on hold to further your education.
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota's Online Master's Programs
At Saint Mary's, we take pride in offering online graduate degrees designed to complement the schedules of working adults like you. Get an affordable, convenient education from a top-ranked university that's grounded in real-world applications.
Colorado State University-Global Campus
Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) offers career relevant bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for working adults and nontraditional learners.
Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University (SJU) has been developing the minds and abilities of men and women in a challenging academic environment steeped in the enriching Jesuit tradition of cura personalis (care of the entire person).
Learning at Full Sail University has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas. Our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy.
The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.
Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.
Most stories include:
Please also see our detailed information about Education Administrators, including: