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John Staver

PROJECT AFFILIATION:

PROFESSIONAL ROLES

  • Higher Ed: Science, Higher Ed: Education, Higher Ed: Other, Teacher: Science, Researcher 

BIO

John Staver is Professor of Curriculum and Instruction (Science Education) and Chemistry, and Co-Director of the Center for Research and Engagement in Science and Mathematics Education (CRESME). CRESME is a collaborative partnership between Purdue University's College of Education and College of Science. Its mission is to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education, locally, statewide, and beyond at the P-12, undergraduate, and graduate levels.
Staver graduated from Speedway High School in Speedway, Indiana in 1962 and earned a B.S. in Education from Indiana University in 1968. He taught high school students chemistry for seven years in Indianapolis. He received an M.S. in chemistry from Purdue University in 1973. After earning an Ed.D. in science education in 1978 from Indiana University, Staver held faculty appointments at DePaul University (1978-81), the University of Illinois at Chicago (1981-88), and Kansas State University (1988-2006). His teaching responsibilities included elementary science methods, secondary science methods, introductory chemistry, and introductory research methods. He served as Director of the K-State Center for Science Education for 18 years.
Staver has conducted extensive research on the development and construct validation of a group-administered test of Piaget's formal schema, the effects of methods and formats of Piagetian task presentation on responses, the influence of reasoning on learning in science, students' understanding of the mole concept and its use in stoichiometric problem solving, and activity-based K-6 science instruction. Presently his research and scholarship focuses on constructivist epistemology and its implications for improving science teaching and learning. He is also examining the interface between science and religion within a constructivist perspective, with a focus on the nature of each discipline and current societal conflicts between them. This work stems from his involvement in the on-going controversy over school science standards in Kansas. In 1998-2001, Staver co-chaired the 27-member writing committee of science teachers, science educators, and scientists that prepared science standards for the Kansas State Board of Education. He also served as member of a 25-memeber committee that revised the science standards for the Kansas State Board of Education in 2004-06.
In 1980, Staver won the JRST Award for publishing the article judged to have made the most substantial contribution to the Journal of Research in Science Teaching in 1979. In 1994, he was elected a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for his work in behalf of a national reform agenda in science education. In 2002, he was elected a member of Sigma Zi. Staver served a five-year term (1991-96) as Executive Secretary of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST). He was President of Association for the Education of Teachers of Science (AETS) in 1999 and was the 2004-05 President of NARST. He was named a Fellow in the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in 2008.
Publications of his research and scholarship include 50 refereed and invited journal articles, 16 books, chapters, and forewords in books, and 30 reviews of research, curriculum materials, and books. Among the texts co-authored is Scott Foresman Science, published in 1984 as a K-6 science textbook series. Throughout his career, Staver has done extensive professional development work with teachers and school districts. This work has focused on improving teaching and learning of students in elementary, middle, high school, and college level science.
 

EXPERTISE

Presently his research and scholarship focus on constructivist epistemology and its implications for improving science teaching and learning. He is also examining the interface between science and religion within a constructivist perspective, with a focus on the nature of each discipline and current societal conflicts between them.  

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Winslow, M.W.*, Staver, J.R., & Scharmann, L.C. (2011). Evolution and personal religious belief: Christian university biology-related majors' search for reconciliation. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 48(9), 1026-1049.

Boone, W.*, Townsend, S., & Staver, J.R. (2011). Using Rasch theory to guide the practice of survey development and survey data analysis in science education and to inform science reform efforts: An exemplar utilizing STEBI self-efficiency data. Science Education, 95(2), 258-280..

Staver, J.R. (2010). Skepticism, truth as coherence, and constructivist epistemology: grounds for resolving the discord between science and religion? Cultural Studies Of Science Education, 5, 19-39.