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As a former middle and high school science teacher, it is important that my work impact the lives of science teachers.

Julie Luft

Athletic Association Professor of Science Education & Distinguished Research Professor

My current work focuses on beginning secondary science teachers, and undergraduate faculty knowledge and instruction. Undergraduate education is a new and exciting area of study! My current research is funded by the National Science Foundation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

I graduated from the University of Iowa in 1994, after teaching middle and high school science for 5 years. I have previously held appointments at The University of Arizona, The University of Texas at Austin, and Arizona State University.

I have served on the board and as President of ASTE, a council member for NSTA, the Director of Research of NSTA, a board member of NSTA, the NSTA representative to the NARST board, and I have served as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Research in Science Teaching (10 years), Electronic Journal of Science Education, and the School Science and Mathematics journal. I was also the first scholar in residence at NSTA. As an advocate for graduate students, I have participated as a mentor (2009, 2011) and co-directed (2013) the Sandra K. Abell Institute for Doctoral Students. I have also been a mentor at the South African Association for Research in Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Summer School (2010, 2013, 2016).

My work initially focused on professional development programs (PDP) for science teachers. My first PDP involved teachers watching each other in order to strengthen their instruction. Overtime, my work has shifted towards understanding and supporting newly qualified or newly hired science teachers: specifically through science-focused induction programs. Currently I am engaged in examinations of the content knowledge of early career science teachers, and I have begun working in the area of undergraduate science education.

I have written numerous research articles, book chapters, editorials, and co-edited books. Most recently I completed two extensive reviews of research in the areas of science teacher professional development and newly hired teachers of science. I was also on committee that wrote the 2015 National Academies Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine publication pertaining to science teacher professional learning.


  • Early Career Secondary Science Teachers
  • Science Teacher Knowledge
  • Undergraduate Science Education

Area of Expertise:

  • Professional Development of Science Teachers
  • Science Teacher Induction
  • Science Teacher Education