Katherine Eaton joined the UM-Flint College of Arts and Sciences in Fall 2017 as an assistant professor of science education.
Read below to learn more about Katherine and how she’s educating future science teachers, or join her in one of her Winter 2018 classes:
- EDE 344: Teaching Science, in Elementary/Middle School
(held Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.)
- SCI 125-02: Scientific Inquiry I
(held Monday/Wednesday, 2:30 p.m.-4:50 p.m.)
Students can register at sis.umflint.edu or find more information about upcoming semesters at umflint.edu/register.
Students can also find Katherine at one of her Fall 2017 Coffee Chats:
November 2017 — Tips and practice for MTTC-Science items!
Thursday, November 16 | 5-6 p.m. | CSEP Conference Room, 215 MSB
Monday, November 20 | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | CEP, 410 French Hall
December 2017 — Fun with snowflake science!
Monday, December 4 | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | CEP, 410 French Hall
Thursday, December 7 | 5-6 p.m. | CSEP Conference Room, 215 MSB
Email email@example.com for more information.
What degrees do you hold?
- B.S. Forensic Science, Michigan State University
- M.Ed. Education, University of Michigan
- Ph.D. Science Education (Dec 2017), Western Michigan University
Why are you passionate about your field?
The relationship aspect of supporting students as they begin to build their teaching practice is very rewarding! I think mentorship is a key component of having successful teachers in the classroom. I genuinely enjoy seeing students excited about experiencing and teaching science.
How did you fall in love with your discipline?
I have always been curious about scientific phenomenon and questioning the world around me. Forensic Science was a great fit for me because it incorporated all of the scientific disciplines and even had a problem solving component. Science Education has a unique challenge in that the things we know today may be different tomorrow based on new discoveries or new technologies. How cool is that?!
What are your favorite courses/subjects to teach?
I really enjoy teaching science methods courses and mentoring interns during their placements. It is rewarding to see the “ah-ha” moments when they start shaping their own teaching practices. I am also excited to teach the Integrated Science courses, they connect well to my Forensic Science background.
What is your latest or favorite research project?
My current research project is looking at how professional identity develops during a teacher education program. It is interesting to see what components are influencing the development of candidates’ identities as teachers. A secondary question is what, if any, impact a cohort model has on their identity development. This is significant because many undergraduate programs are shifting to cohort models.
What do you hope for your time at UM-Flint?
My hope is that I am building longstanding relationships with my students, colleagues, and within the Flint community. I would like my students to see me as a mentor rather than just an instructor of a course they had to take. That role opens up an opportunity to extend beyond the classroom and be a part of their growth as classroom teachers. I am also looking forward to creating community connections that build on our course learning objectives.
Why were you excited to join UM-Flint and the Flint community?
I am excited to be a part of the integrated science TCP. The joint appointment between the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Education is a unique opportunity to combine my experiences as a scientist and educator. The Flint community has had a special place in my life for the last 20 years and I look forward to not only being an active member of the community but also supporting Flint Public Schools with well-prepared teacher interns. The place-based education opportunities at UM-Flint will provide wonderful ways to discuss science and pedagogy.
What do you hope for students in your field?
I hope students in Science Education enjoy the natural curiosities we all have and find ways to bring that into their own classrooms. New discoveries in science are happening every day and, as teachers, we get to share and explore these ideas with our students. Many advances in science came from failed experiments so I hope my students see that as an opportunity to take chances and try new things.
What are three things you think people should know about you?
- I am passionate about my students and they will always be a priority.
- I truly enjoy researching my own practice and growing as an educator and mentor.
- When I win the lotto, I will host free educational retreats in the Caribbean for science teachers!