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Member Profile

William McComas



  • Higher Ed: Science, Higher Ed: Education 


I am currently the inaugural holder of the Parks Family Endowed Professorship in Science Education at the University of Arkansas following a career as a biology teacher in suburban Philadelphia and professorship at the University of Southern California. I am involved in many areas of science education research and policy development. He has served on the boards of directors of the National Science Teachers Association, the International History, Philosophy and Science Teaching Group and the Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE). I am most widely published in the areas of the history and philosophy of science. I have received the Outstanding Evolution Educator award from the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT), the Ohaus award for innovations in College Science Teaching and the Outstanding Science Teacher Educator award from ASTE.  


I am interested in the improvement of laboratory instruction, evolution education, the interaction of the philosophy of science and science teaching, science for gifted students, and science instruction in museums and field sites.  


Books and Monographs

McComas, W. F. (Ed.) (2006). Investigating Evolutionary Biology in the Laboratory: A Complete Guide to Enhancing Laboratory Instruction. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co.

McComas, W. F. (Ed.) (2002). Investigating Environmental Biology in the Laboratory. Reston, VA: The National Association of Biology Teachers.

McComas, W. F. (Ed.) (1998). The Nature of Science in Science Education: Rationales and Strategies. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer (Springer) Academic Publishers.

Book Chapters

McComas, W.F. and McComas, K.K. (2009). The contributions of science and mathematics to STEM education: A view from beyond the disciplines of technology and engineering. In The Overlooked STEM Imperatives: Technology and Engineering. International Technology Education Association. Pgs. 26-34.

McComas, W. F. (2008). Proposals for core nature of science content in popular books on the history and philosophy of science: Lessons for science education. In Lee, Y. J. & Tan, A. L. (Eds.) Science education at the nexus of theory and practice. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. Also appears in Greek translation in Koulaidis, V., Apostolu, A. and Kampourakis, K. (Eds.)

Refereed Articles

Kampourakis, K. and McComas, W. F. (2010). Charles Darwin and Evolution: Illustrating Human Aspects of Science. Available from Springer on Line in anticipation of hardcopy publication.

McComas, W.F. (2010). Where is the "origin" in the Origin of Species? American Biology Teacher, 72(2), 62-3.

Farland-Smith, D. and McComas, W.F. (2009). Teaching the human dimension of science. Science and Children, 46(9), 48-51.

McComas, W. F. (2009, February). Thinking, teaching and learning science outside the boxes: Interdisciplinarity in science instruction. The Science Teacher, 76(2), 24-28.

McComas, W. F. (2008). Seeking historical examples to illustrate key aspects of the nature of science. Science & Education, 17(2/3), 249-263.

McComas, W. F. (2008). Back to the Future? Reconsidering the role of 19th century nature-study in 21st century science teaching. The Science Teacher, 75(2), 24-28.