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Dr. Joanne Olson is a professor in science education, the acting Department Head for Teaching, Learning & Culture, and the former president of the Association for Science Teacher Education. Her research efforts focus on: 1) science teacher preparation; 2) the inclusion of engineering in elementary science standards and how “STEM” is addressed by teachers and teacher education programs; 3) the nature of science and nature of engineering and their role in improving STEM education; 4) philosophical underpinnings of teacher education and their role in curriculum design and pedagogical practices. Dr. Olson is a recipient of several awards for her teaching and research, including the Outstanding Science Teacher Educator of the Year award from the Association for Science Teacher Education, and the Outstanding Paper Award from NARST, a worldwide organization for improving science teaching and learning through research. She was the PI of a $4.5M NSF-funded project to study triad teaching structures using engineering graduate students in elementary classrooms with student teachers, and remains active as a Co-PI on this project at TAMU. She is a former elementary and middle school science teacher from the Los Angeles area.
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