Angela Calabrese Barton, professor of teacher education and a recognized leader in science education at Michigan State University, will be honored as an American Educational Research Association (AERA) Fellow during the organization’s Annual Meeting on April 28, 2017.
Calabrese Barton is among 14 scholars who are are being commended for their contributions to and achievements in research in their dedicated fields. Calabrese Barton has focused her scholarly work on equity and social justice in science teaching in formal and informal learning environments.
“My research thinks about teaching and research methods that lead toward a more just world,” Calabrese Barton says.
Among other projects, she is currently engaged in a four-year study that aims to teach engineering practices in middle school in an equitable way for all. She has been developing and promoting materials for informal and formal settings along with Edna Tan, a former post-doctoral student at MSU and now associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Associate Professor Scott Calabrese Barton in the MSU College of Engineering for the “iEngineering” project funded by the National Science Foundation.
Calabrese Barton was named a William T. Grant Foundation Distinguished Fellow in 2015; the program recognizes mid-career researchers and gives them an opportunity to be immersed in practice settings. In her term from 2015-17, she has been working with museums and other organizations to create equity-oriented making and makerspaces. She was part of the design team that helped create the Impression 5 Science Center Think Tank, a youth makerspace, and is also working with the Exploratorium in San Francisco to learn more about how they bring tinkering pedagogies into community settings. Calabrese Barton remains actively involved with GET City, an after-school science program for Lansing youth she designed 10 years ago in collaboration with the Boys and Girls Club of Lansing.
Calabrese Barton has been at MSU for 11 years, and during that time, has made her mark. Among other accolades, she has received the William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award (2015) and the Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Award (2014). She is also a core faculty member in the Center for Gender in Global Context.
“I was surprised, humbled,” she says about receiving the AERA Fellowship, for which she was nominated by peers. “No research is ever completely solo—this award doesn’t recognize those whom I have collaborated with and learned from. We’re all researchers and participants.”
The Class of 2017 AERA Fellows were nominated by peers, selected by the AERA Fellows Committee and approved by the AERA Council. The class also includes Suzanne M. Wilson, former chairperson of the Department of Teacher Education at MSU, who is currently the Neag Endowed Professor of Teacher Education at the University of Connecticut.