Arthur Eisenkraft

Professional Title
Distinguished Professor of Science Education
About Me (Bio)
Arthur Eisenkraft, Ph.D.
Arthur Eisenkraft is the Distinguished Professor of Science Education, an adjunct Professor of Physics and Director of the Center of Science and Math in Context (COSMIC) at the University of Massachusetts Boston. For 25 years, he taught high school physics and was a 6-12 science coordinator. He is past president of the National Science Teachers Association. He served on the content committee and helped write the National Science Education Standards of the National Research Council and has served on other NRC committees resulting in the reports How People Learn, Tech Tally and America’s Lab Report. He is project director of the NSF-supported Active Physics Curriculum Project that is introducing physics instruction for the first time to all students and leading a similar effort with Active Chemistry. He is chair and co-creator of the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards, involving 15,000 students annually. In 1993, he was Executive Director for the XXIV International Physics Olympiad after initiating the U.S. involvement in the program and serving as the academic director of the United States team for six years. Eisenkraft’s recent publication Quantoons is an outgrowth of work done in Quantum, a physics magazine for high school students and a collaborative effort of the United States and Russia. He was also a consultant for the award-winning ESPN SportsFigures.

His current research projects include investigating the efficacy of a second generation model of distance learning for professional development; efforts associated with the Boston Science Partnership (an NSF supported MSP) and assessing the technological literacy of K-12 students.

Eisenkraft has received numerous awards recognizing his teaching and related work including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, the American Association of Physics Teachers Distinguished Service Citation for “excellent contributions to the teaching of Physics” as well as the Millikan Medal, the Disney Corporation’s Science Teacher of the Year in their American Teacher Awards program, and the Distinguished Service To Science Education Award of NSTA and the Robert Carleton Award. He is a fellow of the AAAS, holds a patent for a laser vision testing system and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Rennssalaer Polytechnic Institute.

He has testified before Congress, been featured in articles in The New York Times, Education Week, Physics Today, Scientific American, The American Journal of Physics and The Physics Teacher and has appeared on The Today Show, National Public Radio (NPR), and many other radio and television broadcasts.

University of Massachusetts, Boston (UMass Boston)

This project augmenting the traditional professional development model with an online professional development platform—the Active Physics Teacher Community—that provides just-in-time support for teachers as they are enacting targeted units of the Active Physics curriculum. Teachers are helped in preparing lessons by providing them with formal instruction related to the lessons they are teaching in the classroom. In addition, teachers can participate in a moderated forum where they can share experiences.

University of Massachusetts, Boston (UMass Boston)

This proposal leverages the re-design of the Advanced Placement (AP) curricula currently under way to study the impact of teacher professional development on student achievement in a natural experiment at scale. In addition to supporting the improvement of professional development of AP teachers by the College Board, the findings contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between professional development and student achievement more generally.