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Portrait of Barbara Crawford

Contact Information

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Office Location

110 Carlton Street
Athens, Georgia 30602


Degree Concentration Institution Year
Ph. D. Science Education The University of Michigan 1996
M. S. Biology (Limnology) The University of Michigan
B. S. Microbiology The University of MIchigan

Awards and Accolades

Year Award From
2012 Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). AAAS
2000 Provosts' Award for Collaboration, Science Education Group Pennsylvania State University
1996 Recipient of the James B. Edmondson Award, Outstanding Dissertation Award for Secondary Curriculum and Instruction, School of Education The University of Michigan
2016 Elected President-elect of NARST A worldwide organization NARST

Areas of Expertise

  • science teacher education
  • science teaching and learning

Research Interests

  • inquiry-based science teaching and learning
  • teacher professional development
  • teacher knowledge of nature of science and inquiry
  • models and modeling
  • authentic science
  • student/scientist collaborations

Research Summary

The ultimate goal of my research is to facilitate the majority of students in science classrooms in developing images of science consistent with current practice, and in understanding what science is, what science is not, and the relevancy of science to society. My research focuses on teachers' knowledge and beliefs of scientific inquiry/science practices and nature of science. An assumption of my work is that teachers need to have deep understanding of scientific inquiry, and hold beliefs that teaching science as inquiry is as important as teaching the subject matter of science (for example, the facts and principles of earth and space science, biology, physics, and chemistry). The recent controversy related to teaching evolution and climate change in science classrooms underscores the need to rethink the way we prepare science instructors to assist future citizens in building a robust understanding of the nature of science.


My research during the last 22 years is contributing towards developing a research-based model of how to support teachers in moving diverse students in K-12 grades (including those students of generally underrepresented populations) towards the inner circle of science literacy.

  • Science teacher for over 16 years in public schools --biology and life (high school and middle), physical sciences (middle), chemistry and physics (high school)
  • Assistant Professor (Oregon State; Penn State); Associate and Full Professor with tenure (Cornell University); Tenured Full Professor (University of Georgia)
  • Elected to the ASTE Board of Directors; Elected to the NARST Board of Directors
  • Mentor (2011) in the Sandra K. Abell Institute for Doctoral Students
  • Associate Editor of Journal of Science Teacher Education
  • PI and Co-PI of grants funded by The National Science Foundation, totaling over 3 million dollars
  • PI of NSF Fossil Finders grant, supporting teachers in carrying out science practices and Nature of Science in classrooms related to teaching about evolution and geology and environmental change
  • Co-PI of NSF UBER grant- an REU focused on engaging undergraduates from diverse colleges in biology education research
  • Invited Conference Participant/ Speaker: How Can the History and Philosophy of Science Contribute to Contemporary U.S. Science Teaching? at Boston University 2012
  • Invited author and participant in University of Cyprus workshop on the Philosophical and Cognitive analyses of Scientific Modeling and implications for Science Education (May 2015).
  • Invited to serve as expert "Opponent" of doctoral dissertation in inquiry-based science teaching at Karlstad University in Sweden (May 2016)
  • International presentations and invited keynote talks about inquiry-based teaching and learning (including Cyprus, Singapore, Norway, France, Turkey, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, and South Africa).