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Steven Zuiker

Associate Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 1811
Biography: 

Steve Zuiker is an associate professor of the learning sciences in the division of educational innovation and leadership. His research is broadly based on the notion that ideas are only as important as what we can do with them. Learning environments, like school gardens and video games, as well as research findings, like scholarly journal articles, can each be both useful and used to create value in educational and local communities. Dr. Zuiker's research agenda explores how to design activities, resources, and projects that interconnect classrooms and schoolyards, digital video games and real-world activities, and ultimately, educational research and educational practice.

His scholarship and publications advance two goals related to what we can all do with ideas. First, through design-based research, he develops and improves learning and teaching systems in K-12 science education, often utilizing digital technologies. For example, environmental sensor networks in gardens and virtual environmental scenarios in video games can be tools to support students' meaningful engagement with science in a classroom, on campus, and with the local community. Second, he investigates how educational research itself is a system of learning and teaching in which research reports remain one among many means of sharing ideas and doing things with them. In this way, Dr. Zuiker considers how educational practitioners and researchers organize these systems of learning and teaching and how digital technologies can enhance the social relationships through which education stakeholders inspire and enable insight and mutual understanding.

Education: 
  • Ph.D. Learning Sciences, Indiana University-Bloomington
  • M.A. Educational Psychology, University of Georgia
  • B.A. Psychology, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign
Research Interests: 

Guiding Research Questions:

  • How can practical connections between schools, local neighborhoods, and professional disciplinary communities enhance learning and teaching activities in science education?
  • How can educational activities inspire and enable students, educators, and researchers, respectively, to expand the reach and impact of what they learn to other settings and contexts?

Current Research Projects:

The Connected Gardening project involves elementary schools in co-designing project-based approach to gardening in schoolyards. It utilizes digital resources like wifi-enabled sensors in order to “plug” physical resources like soil into the internet as a means of supporting learning and teaching. Combining digital and physical infrastructure interconnects student investigations unfolding in classrooms, gardens, and local communities in order to study how ecologies sustain themselves. Systematically exploring and explaining how to grow tasty food positions the Next Generation Science Standards as tools for practical applications of scientific ideas in everyday settings. Building on the Connected Gardening project, a grant from the National Science Foundation will bring together wide-ranging practitioners and researchers in order to share their designed approaches to garden-based science teaching in the US southwest deserts and to document these approaches as a modern ecoregion almanac. Convening practitioners and researchers also underscores that insight, innovation, and impact in education remains a collective achievement co-produced and mobilized through sustained partnerships.

The Knowledge Mobilization project organizes interdisciplinary scholarship to understand and enhance the systems of knowledge exchange among researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and other education stakeholders. An initial investigation supported by Spencer Foundation demonstrated that even the contributions of three community-engaged colleges of education to systems of exchange with their geographically closest stakeholders remain fragmented and idionsyncratic but persist in spite of weak institutional support (e.g., incentives and recognition). An ongoing investigation supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation seeks to transform these same systems of exchange in one metropolitan area. The project seeks to disrupt systems of exchange by embedding individual teaching micro-certifications in an online platform that connects individual and collective growth. The platform provides novel infrastructure for practitioners and researchers to organize practical connections around networked social interactions and relationships  Dr. Zuiker concentrates on how the design of existing and disruptive systems of exchange enable any one education stakeholder to learn from others and to share what they have learned.

Publications: 

SELECT JOURNAL ARTICLES (* denotes student author)

  • Zuiker, S. J., & Riske*, A. (2021). Designing for garden-based learning: Mapping practical and theoretical work through design. Environmental Education Research, 27(8), 1152-1171. doi: 10.1080/13504622.2021.1888886
  • Jordan, M., Zuiker, S. J., Wakefield*, W., & De La Rosa@, M. (2021). Real work with real consequences: Enlisting community energy engineering as an approach to envisioning engineering in context. Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research, 11(1), 1-26. doi: 10.7771/2157-9288.1294
  • Merritt, E., Peterson, A., Evans, S., Marston, S., & Zuiker, S. J. (2021). Learning about culture and sustainable harvesting of native plants. Science & Children, 58(4), 69-73.
  • Zuiker, S. J., & Anderson, K. T. (2019). Fostering peer dialogic engagement in science classrooms with an educational videogame. Research in Science Education. DOI: 10.1007/s11165-019-9842-z
  • Zuiker, S. J., Jordan, M., and the Learning Landscapes Team*. (2019). Inter-organizational design thinking in education: Joint work between learning sciences courses and a zoo education program. Open Education Studies. doi: 10.1515/edu-2019-0001
  • Zuiker, S. J., Piepgrass*, N., Tefera, A., Anderson, K. T., Fischman, G., & Winn*, K. (2019). Recognizing and transforming knowledge mobilization in colleges of education. International Journal of Educational Policy & Leadership, 15(1), 1-19. DOI: 10.22230/ijepl.2018v15n1a808
  • Fischman, G., Anderson, K. T., Tefera, A., & Zuiker, S. J. (2018). If mobilizing educational research is the answer, who can afford to ask the question? An analysis of knowledge mobilization for scholarship in education. AERA Open, 4(1), 1-17. DOI: 10.1177/2332858417750133 [all authors contributed equally]
  • Zuiker, S. J., Anderson, K., Jordan, M., & Stewart*, O. (2016). Complementary lenses: Using theories of situativity and complexity to understand collaborative learning as systems-level social activity. Learning, Culture, & Social Interaction, 9, 80-94. DOI: 10.1016/j.lcsi.2016.02.003
  • Zuiker, S. J., & Wright*, K. (2015). Learning in and beyond school gardens with cyber-physical systems. Interactive Learning Environments, 23 (5), 556-577. doi:10.1080/10494820.2015.1063512
  • Zuiker, S. J., & Whitaker, J. R. (2014). Refining inquiry with multi-form assessment: Formative and summative assessment functions for flexible inquiry. International Journal of Science Education, 36(6), 1037-1059. doi: 10.1080/09500693.2013.834489
  • Zuiker, S. J. (2012). Educational virtual environments as a lens for supporting and understanding both precise repeatability and specific variation in classroom learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 43(6), 981-992. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2011.01266.x 
  • Hickey, D. T., & Zuiker, S. J. (2012). Multi-level assessment for discourse, understanding, and achievement. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 21(4), 522-582. doi: 10.1080/10508406.2011.652320 
  • Barab, S. A., Zuiker, S. J., Warren, S., Hickey, D. T., Ingram-Goble, A., Kwon, E. J., Kouper, I., & Herring, S. (2007). Situationally embodied curriculum: Relating formalisms and contexts. Science Education, 91 (5), 750-782. doi: 10.1002/sce.20217

EDITOR-REFEREED BOOK CHAPTERS

  • Zuiker, S. J., Piepgrass*, N., & Evans*, M. D. (2017). Expanding approaches to design research from researcher “ego-systems” to stakeholder ecosystems. In J. M. Spector, B. B. Lockee, & M. D. Childress (Eds.) Learning, Design, and Technology. An International Compendium of Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. New York: Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-17727-4_74-1
  • Zuiker, S. J., & Jan, M. (2012). A cultural analysis of game-based learning for collective conceptual evolution. In C. B. Lee & D. Jonassen (Eds.), Fostering conceptual change with technology: Asian perspectives (pp. 225-260). Singapore: Cengage Learning Asia.
Research Activity: 
  • Honsberg, C., Bowden, S., Jordan, M., & Zuiker, S. J. (2021-2024). RET Site: Collaborative Research: Sonoran Photovoltaics Laboratory: Energizing the STEM Pipeline through Citizen Science. National Science Foundation, Engineering Directorate – RET Program Award 2055726.
  • Honsberg, C. Jordan, M., Zuiker, S. J., Bowden, S., & Miller, C. (2021). REM: Urban Energy Engineering: Research Experiences and Mentorship for High School Scholars Leading Community Solar Energy Innovation. National Science Foundation, Engineering Directorate – EEC Program Center Supplement.
  • Jordan, M., Zuiker, S. J., & Miller, C. (2020-2022). Co-Developing Community Energy Engineering After-School Programing with Latinx Youth. Spencer Foundation Small Grant 202000196.
  • Zuiker, S. J., Merritt, E., and Marston, S. (2019-2021). The School Gardeners' Southwest Desert Almanac: A Conference for Supporting, Sustaining, and Spreading Garden-Based Science Teaching. National Science Foundation Grant, Education and Human Resources Directorate – DRK-12 Program Award 1908886.
  • Fischman, G., Zuiker, S. J., Teferas, A., & Anderson, K. T. (2014-2016). For whom and to what end is educational research ultimately directed: An analysis of knowledge mobilization strategies. Spencer Foundation Organizational Learning Grant 10003022.
Summer 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
EDT 580Practicum
EDT 584Internship
TEL 704Leadership for Org Change
Spring 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
LSE 570Case Exemplars Learning Systms
LSE 599Thesis
DCI 691Seminar
DCI 790Reading and Conference
DCI 792Research
DCI 799Dissertation
Fall 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
TEL 215Intro to Child&Adolescent Dev
EDT 584Internship
LSE 591Seminar
LSE 599Thesis
EDT 690Reading and Conference
DCI 790Reading and Conference
DCI 792Research
EDT 799Dissertation
Summer 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
EDP 540LearningTheories&InstrctStratg
EDT 580Practicum
EDT 584Internship
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
EDP 310Ed Psychology for Non-Teachers
LSE 570Case Exemplars Learning Systms
EDT 590Reading and Conference
DCI 590Reading and Conference
LSE 599Thesis
EDT 684Internship
EDT 780Practicum
EDT 784Internship
DCI 790Reading and Conference
EDT 790Reading and Conference
DCI 792Research
EDT 792Research
DCI 799Dissertation
EDT 799Dissertation
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
LSE 571History of Learning Sciences
EDT 584Internship
LSE 591Seminar
LSE 599Thesis
EDT 690Reading and Conference
DCI 790Reading and Conference
DCI 792Research
EDT 799Dissertation
Summer 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
EDT 580Practicum
EDT 584Internship
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
EDT 590Reading and Conference
LSE 593Applied Project
LSE 599Thesis
EDT 684Internship
DCI 691Seminar
EDT 780Practicum
EDT 784Internship
DCI 790Reading and Conference
EDT 790Reading and Conference
DCI 792Research
EDT 792Research
DCI 799Dissertation
EDT 799Dissertation
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
TEL 313Technology Educational Setting
EDT 584Internship
LSE 591Seminar
LSE 599Thesis
EDT 690Reading and Conference
DCI 790Reading and Conference
DCI 792Research
EDT 799Dissertation
Summer 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
EDP 540LearningTheories&InstrctStratg
EDT 580Practicum
EDT 584Internship
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
TEL 313Technology Educational Setting
LSE 570Case Exemplars Learning Systms
EDT 590Reading and Conference
LSE 593Applied Project
LSE 599Thesis
EDT 684Internship
EDT 780Practicum
EDT 784Internship
DCI 790Reading and Conference
EDT 790Reading and Conference
EDT 792Research
DCI 792Research
EDT 799Dissertation
DCI 799Dissertation
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
TEL 313Technology Educational Setting
EDT 584Internship
LSE 591Seminar
LSE 593Applied Project
LSE 599Thesis
EDT 690Reading and Conference
DCI 790Reading and Conference
DCI 792Research
EDT 799Dissertation
Summer 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
EDP 540LearningTheories&InstrctStratg
EDT 580Practicum
EDT 584Internship
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
TEL 504Learning and Instruction
LSE 570Case Exemplars Learning Systms
EDT 590Reading and Conference
EDT 684Internship
EDT 780Practicum
EDT 784Internship
DCI 790Reading and Conference
EDT 790Reading and Conference
DCI 792Research
EDT 792Research
EDT 799Dissertation
DCI 799Dissertation
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
EDP 540Theoretical Views of Learning
EDT 584Internship
LSE 591Seminar
EDT 690Reading and Conference
DCI 790Reading and Conference
DCI 792Research
EDT 799Dissertation
Honors / Awards: 

2010    Best Paper Award, 4th IEEE International Conference on Digital Ecosystems and Technologies
2008    Best Paper Nomination, International Conference of the Learning Sciences
2006    Reviewer of the Year Award, Educational Researcher.

 

Editorships: 
  • Editorial Board Member for the International Journal of Educational Policy & Leadership
  • Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Research on Technology in Education
Professional Associations: 
  • American Educational Research Association (aera.net)
  • International Society of the Learning Science (isls.org)
Graduate Faculties / Mentoring History: 

DISSERTATION CHAIR

  • Annette Schimdt. Learning, Literacies, & Technology PhD program. (current)

DISSERTATION CO-CHAIR

  • Amanda Riske. Learning, Literacies, & Technology PhD program. (current)
  • Tome Martinez. Educational Technology PhD Program. (Graduated 2019)
  • James Thomas. Educational Technology PhD Program. (Graduated 2017)

DISSERTATION COMMITTEE MEMBER

  • Cori Lomonte. Educational Leadership & Innovation EdD Program.  (Graduated 2019)
  • Priyanka Parekh. Learning, Literacies, & Technology PhD program. (Graduated 2018)
  • Jennifer Vargas Wright. Educational Technology PhD Program.  (Graduated 2018)
  • Dianna Lippincott. Educational Leadership & Innovation EdD Program. (Graduated 2017)

THESIS CHAIR 

  • Rebekah Jongewaard. Learning Sciences MA program. (Graduated 2021)
  • Siyuan Lee. Learning Sciences MA program. (Graduated 2019)
  • Elizabeth Sanders. Learning Sciences MA program. (Graduated 2019)

THESIS COMMITTEE 

  • Curtiss Brouthers. Learning Sciences MA program. (Graduated 2021)
  • Digengni. Learning Sciences MA program. (Graduated 2020)
Service: 
  • Board Member, Arizona Educational Research Organization