Professional Activity and Research Interests
Peer-reviewed scholarly activities enrich my teaching and allow me to make contributions to the advancement of education. Scholarship is a fundamental form of professional activity because it nurtures an “intellectually vibrant and enriching community”. I have actively contributed to my field with peer-reviewed publications as well as competitive presentations and grants in a manner that demonstrates on-going and consistent contributions to the field of education in general and science education in particular. These activities have promoted an exchange of ideas and acquisition of knowledge that have enriched my teaching and helped me to contribute to the advancement of learning in the teaching and learning profession. There are two main foci of my scholarly activities. They are K-12 science teaching and learning and the scholarship of teaching and learning.
I am interested in how high school students engage in the practices associated with field science as well as how this engagement might afford them the opportunity to develop identities as some who can and will do science. I am currently working with a multi-institutional research group focusing on the study of science identity. We are engaged in the study of how our NSF funded project, HERPS, fosters science identities, from triggered identities for newcomers to more enduring identities for developing enthusiasts, and defining the identity-related motivations of casual, regular, and enthusiastic informal science education participants. This allows us to integrate research and education while promoting science learning.
K-12 Teaching & Learning
I am always exploring aspects of science teaching and learning in the K-12 classroom and beyond. I continue to explore practical applications of science teaching and learning as I work with K-12 classroom teachers, children and pre-service teachers. The following are published peer-reviewed articles that reflect this work.
Scott, C., Tomasek, T., & Matthew, C.E. (2010). Thinking like a Ssssscientist! Science and Children, 48(1), 38-42.
Tomasek, T. (2009). Field backpacks: Keeping track of the tools of the trade. Green Teacher (85), 28-29.
Tomasek, T., & Matthews, C. (2008). Using reptile and amphibian activities in your classroom. Science Activities. 45 (1), 123-128.
Tomasek, T. & Matthews, C. (2008). Toads give you warts- Not! Science Activities, 45 (1), 129-132.
Tomasek, T., Matthews, C. & Hall, J. (2005).
Tomasek, T., Matthews, C. & Hall, J. (2005).What’s slithering around on your school grounds: Transforming student awareness of reptile and amphibian diversity. American Biology Teacher, 67 (7), 419-426.
Kapfer, J.M., Munoz, D.J., & Tomasek, T. (under review). Use of trained turtle-finding dogs (Canis familiaris) to estimate Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) populations. The Wildlife Society Bulletin.
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
My research interests related to pre-service teacher professional development revolve around how I can make mathematics and science teaching and learning more meaningful for developing professionals.
Tomasek, T. (2009). Students as consumers of written knowledge: Using reading prompts to promote active engagement with text. The International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 21(1), 127-132.
Future Areas of Research Interest
Shared Methods Instruction
Collaboration with Dr. Richard Mihans to examine shared methods instruction. We will be working with a common group of students and then following them into student teaching. How does this extended relationship building with two faculty members affect pre-service teacher growth and development? In what ways have we been able to stream-line out courses that allows us to explore some topics for deeply?
University/Public School Partnerships
I have begun to teach my math/science methods course in the elementary school. How does this affect the developing partnership between the elementary school and the university? How does this affect the relationships that university faculty have with elementary faculty?
Use of WIKI technology in promoting collaboration
I am using a wiki to promote collaborative unit planning with my methods students. How will undergraduate students respond to this type of collaboration? What are the strengths and weaknesses of this type of collaboration? How can this type of technology promote more collaboration between pre-service teachers and their cooperating teachers? How can the products from this collaboration be equitably assessed?
National Science Foundation, Herpetological Education in Rural Spaces and Places (HERPS), August 2011 (2.7 million dollars in collaboration with UNCG and UNCP- Elon’s total Subaward is $260,000 over 4 years)
Elon CATL Teaching and Learning Grant, Global 2.0: Creating 21st Century Citizens, April 2011 ($3524 in collaboration with Joan Barnatt).
Elon CATL Teaching and Learning Grant, HOBOs: Teacher Candidate Technology Integration with Math and Science Instruction, October 2006 ($1,300)
Since arriving at
Elon I have developed multiple types of curriculum and instructional
materials that have either been published in refereed professional
journals or presented at peer-reviewed and competitive professional
meetings. All of these items
relate to my work with reptiles and amphibians and K-12 science teaching
and learning. Much of this
work is in collaboration with public school classroom teachers or
colleagues from other teacher educator programs across the state of
North Carolina. This work is
significant in the field of education because the curriculum and
instructional materials are made available to a wider audience including
both formal and informal science educators (i.e. classroom teachers,
nature center directors, etc).
These products and presentations expand both knowledge and skills
of science teachers across multiple grade levels and multiple settings.
A list of presentations can be found on this
summary of professional activities between 2005 and 2011.
A list of presentations can be found on this summary of professional activities between 2005 and 2011.
- Council on Undergraduate Research
- National Science Teachers Association
- National Association for Research in Science Teaching
- National Council for Teachers of Mathematics
- North Carolina Science Teachers Association
North Carolina Council of Teachers of
- North Carolina Partners for Amphibian and Reptile Conservation
- North Carolina Herpetological Society