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College of Education > News and Publications > News: July - Sept. 2011 > Sibel Erduran to Deliver Waterbury Lecture

Sibel Erduran to Deliver Waterbury Lecture

An internationally recognized scholar in science education, Sibel Erduran, is the next guest lecturer in the Waterbury Lecture Series. She will speak Oct. 24 about the inclusion and use of epistemic practices in science teachers’ learning.

by Sara LaJeunesse (September 2011)

Erduran-Sibel.jpgUniversity Park, Pa. -- Penn State’s College of Education will welcome an internationally recognized scholar in science education as the next guest lecturer in the Waterbury Lecture Series. Sibel Erduran, a professor of science education at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, will speak about the inclusion and use of epistemic practices in science teachers’ learning.

The lecture, titled “Modeling Epistemic Practice in Science Teachers’ Learning: The Case of Argumentation,” will take place October 24, 2011, at 6:00 p.m. in 112 Walker Building. The event is open to the public, and light refreshments will be served following the lecture. The lecture also will be available via webcast at

Erduran’s research focuses on scientific argumentation and how argumentation can inform and guide teachers’ learning of epistemic aspects of science. In her talk, she will give recommendations for the design, implementation and evaluation of teacher professional development programs that promote and enhance teachers’ learning of epistemic practices including argumentation.

“Sibel’s influence on science education and science education research is based on her pioneering efforts in two domains: philosophy of chemistry and chemistry education and argumentation discourse practices for the design of student-centered classrooms,” said Richard Duschl, Waterbury Chaired Professor in Secondary Education. “She and her collaborators and students are making important contributions to our understandings about teaching the nature of science and about designing student-centered learning environments. Her work has made significant contributions to ongoing teacher professional development that builds pedagogical practices to give students a voice and, thus, an avenue to assess reasoning about using evidence to build and refine models, explanations and claims. We are, indeed, fortunate to have Professor Erduran visit us here at Penn State.”

Erduran serves on the editorial board of Review of Educational Research, among other journals. She is currently the international coordinator for the National Association for Research in Teaching (NARST). She is also the recipient of the NARST best paper award as well as a range of grants, including those from the Economic and Social Research Council, the Training and Development Agency for Schools, the European Union, and the Gatsby Foundation. She has authored nearly 130 publications and made over 110 international/national presentations, including plenary speeches at conferences in Taiwan, South Africa, Korea, Turkey, and Lebanon.

Erduran completed her higher education in biochemistry, food chemistry, science education, and philosophy at Northwestern, Cornell, and Vanderbilt Universities, with financial support from the Fulbright Commission and Spencer Foundation. She was an educational researcher at the University of Pittsburgh and King’s College, University of London, and taught high school chemistry and middle school science in a secondary school in northern Cyprus.

The Waterbury Lecture is held twice a semester and features prominent speakers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. The Waterbury Lecture Series is sponsored by an endowment from Kenneth Waterbury to the Penn State College of Education to create the Kenneth B. Waterbury Chair in Secondary Education, held by Duschl since he joined Penn State in 2008. Duschl's research focuses on advancing teacher education programs and on the design of learning environments that seek and promote collaborations among STEM education.

The Waterbury Lecture Series continues later this academic year:

  • Brian Coppola, professor of chemistry at the University of Michigan, will give a talk titled “Do Real Work, Not Homework,” on February 16 at 4:00 p.m.
  • Mark Windschitl, professor of science education at the University of Washington, will present “Ambitious Teaching as the ‘New Normal’ in American Science Classrooms?” on April 23 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Kathleen Metz, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, will give a talk titled “Learning Progressions Approach to Teaching Difficult Ideas,” on a day and time that will be announced.