Thomas J. McKenna Joins Wheelock as Lecturer in Science Education Program

Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development is proud to announce the hiring of Thomas J. McKenna as Lecturer of Science Education within the Science Education Program. Mr. McKenna’s primary focus at BU will involve working with pre-service teachers in order to ensure that each student has access to authentic experiences in science and science education – especially those who may not have traditionally seen themselves on this path. He will be specifically highlighting elementary education, STEM, and the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Mr. McKenna’s background largely deals with pre-service science teacher education, while he is also a national facilitator and design-team member of the Next Generation Science Exemplar System. This system is an¬†innovative and scalable professional learning environment designed to support K-12 educators in understanding and implementing three-dimensional science teaching and learning called Framework for K-12 Science Education and the NGSS.

His current science education research investigates how a broad array of professional learning opportunities can support pre- and in-service teachers in creating authentic experiences in K-12 classrooms and how design-based research methods may improve these experiences.

Mr. McKenna’s particular interest is on factors that play a role in how teachers learn. Specifically, the need for co-constructed professional development connected to local communities of practice within larger organizational structures (i.e., job-embedded approaches to professional learning). In addition to this, the need for science teacher leaders and administrators to support coherent portfolios of professional learning and develop social structures and networks to promote this learning, and ways of scaling professional learning and curriculum design.