Arriving at Boston University from the University of Colorado, Boulder, Dr. Manz has been an assistant professor of science education for the past two years. Her research focuses on the development of epistemic practices in elementary science classrooms. She seeks to understand how to design learning environments so that practices such as modeling, experimentation, and argumentation are meaningful and useful for elementary school students. Dr. Manz analyzes how these practices contribute to the development of deep content knowledge and studies the supports that enable teachers to integrate the practices into their curriculum.
Dr. Manz’s research interests are informed by her experience teaching elementary school students in three distinctly different settings: a charter school in Philadelphia, an international school in Bonn, Germany, and as director of curriculum for the Eli Whitney Museum, a science and engineering museum in Hamden, Connecticut.
Graduating in 2013 with a Ph.D. in Mathematics and Science Education from Vanderbilt University, Dr. Manz’s dissertation work involved a multi-year design study with a third grade teacher, redesigning science instruction around investigating a wild backyard area behind an urban school and following the development of students’ scientific modeling, argumentation, and understanding of ecological ideas.
During her time at CU Boulder, Dr. Manz worked on numerous projects, including working with second grade teachers in redesigning curriculum units to align with the Next Generation Science Standards, studying district professional development around the standards, and supporting preservice teachers to learn from their interactions with youth in an afterschool program focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) activities.
Dr. Manz’s work has been published in journals such as Science Education, Cognition and Instruction, and Review of Educational Research. In 2014, her paper, ‘Mangling’ Science Instruction: Creating Resistances to Support the Development of Practices and Content Knowledge, was awarded the best paper award at the 11th International Conference of the Learning Sciences.