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Department of Education

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education

Teacher in classroom

The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education programs involve collaborations with Tufts departments of Child Study and Human Development, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics & Astronomy, Computer Science, and Mechanical Engineering, as well as the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach.

About the Programs

The STEM Education program seeks candidates with backgrounds in STEM disciplines, the Learning Sciences, and related areas. Everything we do in our programs is informed by these core values:

  • To respect, uncover, and build upon all students' natural curiosity and productive intellectual resources for learning and inventing.
  • To engage learners in scientific, mathematical, and engineering-based thinking––for instance, by asking questions, building arguments, thinking systematically, and designing solutions to meaningful problems.

Students in the program:

  • Work closely with program faculty on a variety of research and outreach projects.
  • Complete coursework that reflects learning sciences perspectives on disciplinary knowledge and practices; cultural, historical and philosophical influences on educational thought and practices; and design and instruction.
  • Complete independent projects.

Faculty projects reflect a range of interests, including:

  • The beginnings of STEM thinking in learners' knowledge and abilities.
  • How students progress toward disciplinary practices and understandings.
  • Teachers' noticing, attending, and responding to student thinking.
  • Diversity and access in K-16 STEM education.
  • The design and study of technologies to support thinking, learning, and inquiry.

Learn more about our work on the Research Projects page.

Message from Program Director



Julia Gouvea
Director, STEM Education

Our largest new initiative is supported by a very generous gift from the James F. McDonnell Family Foundation to establish the Tufts Institute for Research on Learning and Instruction (IRLI, as in "early"). The purpose of IRLI is to build a culture of discipline-based research on undergraduate learning at Tufts that cuts across departments in the School of Arts & Sciences and the School of Engineering.

View more information about other on-going and new projects in K-12 engineering, college science, and other areas.