College of Education > News and Publications > News: Oct. - Dec. 2010 > Zembal-Saul to Lead Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Zembal-Saul to Lead Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Carla Zembal-Saul, professor of science education, has been appointed department head for the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in Penn State's College of Education. Her appointment began on October 1, 2010.

by David Price (October 2010)

Zembal-Saul.JPGUniversity Park, Pa. -- Carla M. Zembal-Saul, holder of the Kahn professorship in STEM education, has been appointed department head for the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in Penn State's College of Education. Her appointment began on October 1, 2010. Zembal-Saul succeeds Gregory Kelly, who has assumed the position of associate dean for research, outreach, and technology in the College of Education.

Zembal-Saul, a former middle school teacher who joined the University in 1997, holds a Ph.D. in science education from the University of Michigan, an M.S. in science education from the University of Houston, and a B.S. in science education from the University of Michigan.

"Dr. Zembal-Saul is an outstanding science educator whose accomplishments include the creation of highly productive partnerships between the College and Pennsylvania school districts, including the State College Area School District," says David Monk, dean of the College of Education. "She will be an outstanding department head, and I am very grateful for her willingness to provide administrative leadership for the Department of Curriculum and Instruction."

Appointed in 2007, Zembal-Saul also is the inaugural appointee to the Kahn Professorship in Education, which is intended to strengthen the College's programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Her research investigates the development of teaching practices that support K-6 children’s participation in authentic scientific discourse and practices.

"I have a deep commitment to supporting the positive trends that have emerged in C&I in recent years, particularly our model for shared leadership and transparent decision-making, attempts to learn about one another as people and as professionals, balanced support for graduate students, and attention to issues of diversity and climate," says Zembal-Saul. "One area in which I hope to contribute is that of cultivating the leadership potential within the department, especially among faculty who have recently joined our community."

She has been involved in school-university partnership work for more than ten years, and most of her research takes place in this context. The purposeful integration of technology tools has played a central role in her teaching and research.

In addition, Zembal-Saul serves on the editorial boards of Science Education and the International Journal of Science Education. She was an elected member of the Executive Board for the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (2007-2010), and she chaired the organization’s Publications Advisory Board (2008-2010).