Joseph I Stepans Scholarship

Dr. Joseph Stepans was considered a preeminent science educator. Over his professional career, Dr. Stepans was engaged in research in the area of student misconceptions and developed a professional development model for teaches (WyTRIAD) (Stepans, Saigo & Ebert, 1999). In terms of professional development, he felt that a collaborative effort among the building administrator, teachers and facilitator was essential in developing an environment where teaching and learning were deeply valued (Cantrell, Stepans & Gaston, 2002). As a facilitator of professional development, he used the Conceptual Change Model (Schmidt, Saigo & Stepans, 2006) which requires “‘uncovering’ a concept in depth, rather than ‘covering’ many topics superficially” (Stepans & Schmidt, 2009, p.58). His is a legacy of excellence in teaching that will be carried forward by awardees of this scholarship.

Applicants must be students admitted to graduate study in the College of Education or the Science and Mathematics Teaching Center. Eligible students must be either:

1. An in-service teacher who plans to return to teaching in a public school setting ;
2. An in-service teacher who plans to obtain a doctorate in Education; or
3. An applicant with experience teaching in non-formal education, who plans to return to this type of setting after completing a graduate degree.

College of Education
Supplemental Questions
  1. Eligible students must be at least one of the following (check all that apply)
  2. Please provide the name and e-mail address of a faculty member so that they can complete a faculty advising commitment form on your behalf.
  3. In about 250 words, write about your interest in uncovering and/or challenging students' misconceptions and/or developing strategies for teaching for conceptual understanding.
  4. Documentation Commitment: If awarded the scholarship, the recipient must submit a 10-15 page review of the literature on a specific topic related to identifying and correcting student misconceptions. The review must include a discussion of the Teaching for Conceptual Change model and interview procedure described by Joseph I Stepans in pages 1-20 and 273-278 in Stepans, J. (2011). Targeting Physical Science Misconceptions Using the Conceptual Change Model (3rd Edition). St. Could, Minnesota: Saiwood Publishing. (Part 1 and Part 2). If awarded the Scholarship, do you agree to the documentation commitment?
  5. Presentation Commitment:
    If awarded the scholarship, the recipient must commit to deliver an oral presentation after the scholarship commitments are completed. Recipients are required to attend a meeting in Laramie with the scholarship committee and Stepans family. This meeting will be in an intimate, yet formal setting and allows the recipient to deliver an oral presentation of their application essay and subsequent work in the area of student misconceptions. This event is coordinated by the College of Education Dean and takes place at a time convenient to both the scholarship recipient and the Stepans family. The purpose of this event is to add to the legacy of Dr. Stepans as well as to engage the student with multiple individuals who are active researchers in the area of student misconceptions. If awarded the Scholarship, do you agree to the presentation commitment?
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