Department of Science/Mathematics Education

School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Faculty Profiles

Fred Fifer, Ph.D.

At the present I’m a part-time professor in the Science/Mathematics Education Department.  I’ve been associated with the Department for over 30 years. 

During those thirty years, my research interests were primarily focused on the physical structure and arrangement of secondary science classrooms [and their affects on classroom teaching/discipline/safety].  I also collected and published findings associated with the affects/effects of teacher mobility [or lack thereof] in the classroom [with respect to student-teacher interactions, and discipline issues arising within the class period]. 

Ancillary to these data collection points, levels-of-questioning were easily monitored and tabulated [asked by both the teacher and students, e.g., higher-order, informational and non-topic].  These findings were available following observations and were used as a form of “formative-evaluation.”  One of the products of these studies is a step-by-step book providing a way for others to collect systematic information based on classroom observations. 

Other interests included science problem-solving, open-ended, activities which could be performed with a minimal level of materials, facilities, and equipment – yet provide solid examples of the scientific principles/phenomena being explored.  The product of this work is four co-authored books of 75+ lab activities, with each book divided into life, earth and physical categories, plus an easily used reference to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills.

  • Updated: November 17, 2006