CREATE Science Speaker: Erin Furtak


Wednesday, February 15, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm


252 Erickson Hall


Erin Furtak, Associate Professor, Science Education, University of Colorado Boulder


Dilemmas of Three-Dimensional Science Assessment


The vision of science teaching and learning in the NGSS places new demands on students as they learn science, curriculum developers to design instructional materials that engage students in scientific practices and crosscutting concepts to learn disciplinary core ideas, teachers to engage students in such learning and – perhaps most challengingly – to design and interpret information from assessments of this type of learning. The ‘practice turn’ in our policies about how we want students to learn science reflects increasing focus on situated and sociocultural perspectives on teaching and learning; yet, our assessment system continues to be a reflection, frozen in time, of behaviorist and cognitive views of learning. This talk will begin with a conceptual analysis of three-dimensional classroom assessment, framing dilemmas science teachers face in this new era developed from an ongoing research-practice partnership.

About the Speaker:

Erin Marie Furtak is Associate Professor of Education specializing in Science Education. Dr. Furtak's research grew out of her own experiences as a public high school teacher, in which she struggled to enact science teaching reforms in her own classroom. Her work focuses on how to support secondary science teachers in improving their everyday formative assessment practices. With the support of multiple grants from the National Science Foundation, Dr. Furtak has been investigating how long-term professional development programs centered on learning progressions can support secondary science teachers in iteratively designing, enacting, and revising formative assessments. 


Dr. Furtak teaches courses in the CU Teach STEM teacher education program,  the Teaching and Learning Biology course in the department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology,  and multiple advanced doctoral courses on mixed-methods research, classroom assessment, and science and mathematics education.



Dr. Furtak received the 2011 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) and the German Chancellor Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2006). She has published numerous articles and three books.