College of Education > Employment > Assistant/Associate Professor of Education (Science Education and the Learning Sciences) (Elementary/Middle Grade Focused)

Assistant/Associate Professor of Education (Science Education and the Learning Sciences) (Elementary/Middle Grade Focused)

Assistant/Associate Professor of Education (Science Education and the Learning Sciences) (Elementary/Middle Grades Focused)

The Pennsylvania State University

College of Education

Department of Curriculum & Instruction

Assistant/Associate Professor of Education

(Science Education and the Learning Sciences)

(Elementary/Middle Grades Focused)


The Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education at Penn State University seeks applications from individuals with scholarly interests and expertise in the learning sciences with a focus on science teaching and learning. This position will support the College of Education’s initiative in strengthening its commitment to the learning sciences and the study of learning. The College seeks to hire a cluster of at least four, tenure-line faculty during 2017-2018 to build upon its existing scholarly and programmatic strengths. In particular, the College will hire new faculty to strengthen the study of learning and to build bridges among four existing areas of graduate education and faculty scholarship: educational psychology; learning, design, and technology; mathematics education; and science education. The long-range goal is to strengthen Penn State’s leadership in learning sciences research and development, enhancing existing foci: on learning in the disciplines (beginning with learning in areas of mathematics and science); on the design of learning environments; on design-based research, intervention research; and on other studies of learners and learning.

 Beginning Date: August 15, 2018

 Appointment Conditions

The position is a tenure-track appointment at the Assistant/Associate Professor rank within the Science Education area of Curriculum and Instruction. Faculty members establish and maintain productive research programs and normally teach both undergraduate and graduate courses each year.

A research specialization in prekindergarten–grade 8 (PK-8) science teacher education, engineering education in PK-8 schooling, curriculum integration across disciplines, or second language learning in science would complement interests of current Science Education, Middle Grades, or Elementary and Early Childhood Program faculty. The position also offers the possibility for collaborations with community and school contexts such as the Penn State Arboretum, Discovery Space of Central Pennsylvania children’s science museum, and the Penn State–State College Area School District Professional Development School Partnership. The faculty member would provide service, outreach, and leadership to the University, educational institutions, agencies, professional organizations, and learned societies.

The position offers opportunities to prepare pre-service teachers and provide leadership for either Elementary and Early Childhood Education (prekindergarten–grade 4) or Middle Level Education (grades 4–8) science teacher education. The successful candidate will be expected to engage in recruiting and working with graduate students interested in Science Education, to pursue external funding for supporting research, and to develop and teach resident and online undergraduate and graduate courses relevant to Science Education, Curriculum and Instruction, and the Learning Sciences. The successful candidate will be invited to join other new and existing faculty members across departments and colleges who are part of the Learning Sciences Initiative.

This is a tenure track, 36-week appointment with the possibility of supplementary summer appointments in research and/or teaching.  Full University benefits apply.  Penn State has a strong commitment to the diversity of its workforce.  We encourage applications from individuals of diverse backgrounds.

Required Qualifications:

  • An earned doctorate in science education or a closely related field;
  • Potential to develop and maintain a strong program of research in science education;
  • Willingness to teach residential and online courses in Science Education and Curriculum and Instruction at the undergraduate and graduate levels; and
  • Potential for obtaining external funding, commensurate with experience.

Desirable qualifications:

  • Experience teaching science at the elementary or middle school level;
  • Interest in the design of learning environments or curriculum in elementary/middle grades science settings;
  • Experience facilitating professional learning of prospective or practicing teachers;
  • Experience advising undergraduate or graduate student research; and
  • Experience with use of digital technology in science education.

Application procedures

Applicants must submit: (1) a letter of application explaining qualifications for the position, including an articulation of research trajectory; (2) a current curriculum vitae along with the name, email address, and telephone number of each of three academic references; and (3) up to three representative writing samples such as published or in-review scholarly articles or papers presented at professional conferences. Applications received by November 30, 2017 are assured full consideration; however, applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Electronic submission of all materials is required. Penn State’s online submission system (EJMS) allows an applicant to upload no more than four files total; multiple items may be combined into a single file (e.g., multiple articles in one PDF) if necessary. The EJMS submission system can be found at:

Please contact search committee chair Dr. Scott McDonald ( with any questions.