Project to Advance Science Education

Old MainWelcome to the home page of science education at the University of Arkansas. Many thanks for your interest in this important field and welcome to a wide variety of resources available to support science teaching and learning in the College of Education and Health Professions and throughout the University. This is your entry point for contacting professors in the science departments with interests in science instruction, to access the NASA-supported Educator Resource Center, which provides high quality outreach opportunities in mathematics and science instruction and, for the academic study of science teaching and learning.

The Project to Advance Science Education (PASE) is part of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. PASE is dedicated to enhancing science instruction in the nation's education infrastructure through basic research, the preparation of science teachers for school service, and the development of science education leaders who can impact science teaching in schools and as professors in colleges and university settings.

In addition to becoming a science teacher through our graduate degrees, there are many other opportunities. For instance, you can ...

  • Become more informed about the issues and methods of science instruction
  • Become a more effective science teacher at any level.
  • Become a science instructional leader in schools or in museum settings.
  • Consult for business and industry. Many large companies have science education experts on staff to provide advice.
  • Write grant proposals with a science instructional focus.
  • Write articles to influence the teaching and learning of science.
  • Present workshops to enhance science teaching and learning.
  • Conduct research to address important problems in science instruction.
  • Write science curricula that can transform science learning.
  • Become a professor of science education by earning a Ph.D. in science education.

In addition to the strong academic foundation students receive at the University itself, PASE cooperates with other UA units and entities beyond campus to provide a range of science education experiences for graduate students. Our graduate students in science education become involved in school outreach, informal science learning in nature and botanical centers to schools and grant related work at the intersection of science disciplines and science instruction.

Of course, students can learn the craft of research by participating with one of the PASE professors in investigations leading to publications and real world impact! Ongoing research endeavors include the exploration of the actual and ideal states of hands-on instruction, the application of constructivist learning theory to informal science education, the identification of key science misconceptions among K-12 learners to be developed as part of a searchable Web site, problems associated with the observational skills of students in laboratory settings, and the elucidation of core elements of the nature of science (NOS) and instructional methods for developing NOS understanding.

Through PASE, we offer a master of arts in teaching (M.A.T.) degree with a focus in secondary science teaching, a master of education (M.Ed.) degree designed for science teacher enhancement, and a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree for those interested in higher education or research careers in science instruction. Each of these degree programs has as its central goal the development of educators who would like to become more effective science teachers, advocates and leaders. We recognize that you are making a significant commitment when deciding to work toward a degree and it is very important that you receive answers to all of your questions before applying for admission.

For more information about PASE or about graduate study in science education, please contact:

Dr. William F. McComas, Director
Project to Advance Science Education
Peabody Hall 127 
College of Education and Health Professions
University of Arkansas 
Fayetteville, AR 72701