Department of Science/Mathematics Education

School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Faculty Profiles

Barbara Curry

Barbara Curry
Senior Lecturer II
FN 3.218B
972-883-4008

Education

Texas Woman’s University, B.S., Deaf and Elementary Education;
University of Illinois, M.A., Audiology;
University of Texas at Dallas, M.A.T., Science Education

Title

Senior Lecturer, Science Education Specialist, Graduate Advisor, Project Director: UTD Regional Collaborative for Excellence in Science Teaching

Special Interests

I love to spend time outdoors, camping and kayaking.  To be outside, not confined to the four walls and air conditioning of a building, is freeing, not only to the body, but also to the soul.  It gets you in touch with the earth and develops an appreciation of what is really important.

I also feel that giving oneself back to the community is extremely important.  Volunteering for Meals on Wheels and Habitat for Humanity has taught me that even giving just a small amount of time can make a big difference to someone in need.

Courses

Elementary Science Methods, Science for Elementary Teachers, Instructional Strategies in Science

About Barbara

Science has been a part of my life from the moment I was born.  My father was a chemistry professor and my brothers and I usually got to go “help” dad at his lab on the weekends.  Helping involved playing with dry ice, cleaning glassware, understanding acetone and its uses, as well as interacting with graduate students.  Dad would ask for the sodium chloride at the dinner table rather than the just asking for salt!  Mom was our amateur field scientist.  She instilled a love of rocks, wildflowers and the wonders of the beach through annual family vacations.  I was very fortunate to be able to experience these things while growing up, never realizing where they would take me.

I feel my purpose is to help instill a love of, if not a burning curiosity about, science in all of my students.  While currently instructing pre-service elementary teachers in the methodologies of teaching science, I have found that they, for the most part, have quite a bit of fear and trepidation about teaching science in their own classrooms. Presenting science processes, concepts and pedagogy in a manner through which they actually learn the content truly makes a difference….no more reading the book and memorizing facts!  Teachers typically teach in the same manner they were taught.  Hopefully, as a result of their experiences in their pre-service science methods, they will teach their students science the way they learned it in their methods class.

As the director of the UTD Texas Regional Collaborative for Excellence in Science Teaching and as an instructor of graduate classes in elementary science content and methodologies, I have the incredible opportunity to watch our participating teachers grow personally and professionally.  My ultimate goal is to provide the best teachers and learning opportunities for students in their formative learning years. This interaction with our graduate students who are current classroom science teachers, also allows me to work with people who are driven to become better through developing their content knowledge and pedagogy skills.  It is also wonderful to mentor them and watch them develop their science leadership skills.

In conjunction with a team put together by the Lunar and Planetary Institute, I am assisting in the process of developing content geared toward pre-service teachers that will help them in developing their own knowledge about space.  This content will be based on The National Science Standards, the Benchmarks for Science Literacy and the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills.  This project, along with one through the Institute of Renewable Natural Resources and the Texas Geospatial Extension Program, will help current teachers and pre-service teachers develop an understanding of content regarding the space sciences and remote sensing.  This second project will develop curriculum that will help children learn about the ways that geospatial technologies monitor, study, and manage wildlife habitat and natural resources. It will also teach children how animals use “high tech” sensors (i.e. extreme sharp vision or hearing) to navigate in their own world.

My research interests lie most specifically in the area of pre-service teacher education.  I am currently seeking a Ph.D. in Science Education at Texas Christian University with an emphasis in working on the optimum classroom and practicum experiences for pre-service teachers.  I want to provide them with the tools that will enable them to teach in such a way that the love of science will inspire their students to become our future scientists.

  • Updated: November 17, 2006