Mark Enfield

bridging the natural world
and learning to teach about the natural world

School Experiences

I have a variety of experiences in public and private schools. These include working in a private pre-school, high school science teaching, elementary school teaching, and middle school science teaching. My most formative experiences came as a science specialist teacher in an elementary school. In this role, I rotated from classroom to classroom teaching science. Subsequently, I had a more substantive experience teaching in one elementary classroom. After arriving in North Carolina I taught science in a middle school for a brief period.

These experiences have contributed to my thinking about teaching and learning. To begin with, the experiences have convinced me that attending to students' thinking and reasoning is crucial in effective teaching. Related to this, working with a diversity of students has reified my belief that all children are capable of scientific reasoning and should have the opportunity to learn science. Finally, teaching experiences have clarified my understandings of the role of planning and designing appropriate tasks for students learning in supporting engagement

I have North Carolina licensure in Elementary and Middle Grades Science teaching.

Informal Learning

I am also fortunate to have had experiences working and teaching in an informal learning environment. My first experience teaching was in a hands-on science museum, Omniplex. This experience launched my career as a science educator. Teaching in an informal environment is very different from teaching in schools. There I learned about engaging individuals in discussions about phenomena. I also learned about the role of discrepant events in engaging and challenging conceptions of phenomena.