Doctor of Philosophy, 2010, Science Education, University of Maryland, College Park
Dissertation: Understanding the dynamics of teacher attention: case studies of how high school physics and physical science teachers attend to student ideas.
Bachelors of Arts, Physics, 1997, Bryn Mawr College
Senior Thesis: The use of pulse NMR to study local structures in the organic solid 2-tertiarybutlyanthraquinone.
Founder & Principal (4/08 – current; full time since: 4/17 ): Teacher Learning Consultancy
- Designed and conducted qualitative formative research
- Engineered and piloted educative curriculum materials for K-12 STEM classrooms
- Created and implemented STEM teacher professional development programs to develop teachers’ capacities for improved student STEM learning and STEM teacher leadership; approaches include use of videos and artifacts to facilitate collaborative reflection on teaching and continuous improvement practices
- Clients include: NYC Department of Education, Columbia University Teacher Research Program, New Visions for Public Schools, Rutgers University Graduate School of Education, Appletree Institute, Towson’s Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) project
Research and Innovation Fellow (4/16-4/17): 100Kin10
- Revamped and ran 100Kin10’s networked improvement community (NIC); included providing NIC workshops and coaching to 34 organizations (school districts or state education authorities, media organizations, informal education institutions, universities, non-university based professional development institutions, teacher residency programs, professional organizations)
- Co-designed and co-managed research and evaluation of 100Kin10’s Networked Improvement Community program on partner collaboration and partner “buy-in” of continuous improvement work
- Disseminated findings both internally and externally
- Wrote and submitted federal grant applications (NSF INCLUDES)
Director of Preservice Teacher Education (1/13-4/16): New York Hall of Science (NYSCI)
- NYSCI’s program director for the New York Hall of Science-New Visions for Public Schools – Hunter College Math and Science Teacher Residency Program (MASTER)
- Developed and implemented museum-based resources and programs to infuse design-based learning into new teacher training, including a field-based pedagogy course at the museum
- Lead-authored a book chapter on using museum resources to develop novice teacher pedagogical content knowledge (PCK)
- Designed a study to examine teacher PCK growth
- Collaborated with program partners to oversee the formation and execution of a novel teacher residency program focused on PCK development, included training and managing secondary science and mathematics field-based instructional coaches, creating new course work and program structures, as well as running professional development for university level discipline-based instructors
- Coached 16 science teaching residents and mentors
- Wrote and submitted federal grant applications (NSF CORE and NSF DrK-12)
Post-doctoral Associate (10/10-1/15): Learning Research and Development Center, University of Pittsburgh
- Conducted research and lead-authored a paper on teacher learning through the use of novel engineering-based, mathematics integrated educative curriculum materials for high school biology
- Created and piloted professional development workshops and curriculum embedded teacher learning supports to ensure successful curriculum implementation
- Assisted in the evaluation of the novel educative curriculum materials
Physics Instructor (09/09-6/10): Department of Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania
- Created and instructed a physics course on electric circuits and magnetism in the Master of Integrated Science Education Program (MISEP) for in-service teachers; highlighted teaching and learning issues regarding nature of science and teaching scientific inquiry to develop students’ pedagogical content knowledge
Program Officer (9/08- 6/09): Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSTF)
- Recruited and selected new teachers to participate in the KSTF Teaching Fellowship program
- Planned, implemented, and evaluated program activities to support new teacher development
Elementary Science Education Instructor and Field Supervisor (8/04–5/05), Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Maryland
- Developed and led elementary science teaching course to foster reflective practitioners skills; projects included investigations to model the motion of the moon based on lunar observations and documenting and analyzing student thinking in science in the practicum placement classrooms
- Supervised four student teachers and formed a weekly video club to scaffold use evidence of student learning to reflect on teaching
Teaching and Research Assistant (9/03-12/03), Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Maryland
- Graded course assignments and facilitated class discussions about the nature of science teaching and learning
- Conducted research on the impact of using videos of elementary school student discussion in physical science on the pre-service teacher class discussions.
Graduate Research Assistant (9/02 – 8/08): Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Maryland
- Developed an analytic framework to examine variability in teacher attention to student ideas during classroom interactions
- Designed and managed data collection on science teaching practice and teachers’ use of student ideas for research and publication purposes (including video, audio, low inference transcripts, artifacts from classroom observations and interviews)
- Assisted in the production of a volume of written and video case studies as professional development material to promote teachers’ substantive investigation of student inquiry in physical science
- Co-led teacher professional development discussions on physics and physical science content, the practices of science, and student reasoning in science through examination of data (written and video) from teachers’ classes
Research Assistant (9/00 – 12/00), Department of Physics and School of Education, City College of New York
- Adapted the Maryland Physics Expectations Survey to probe secondary science teachers’ epistemology.
- Implemented and analyzed survey for the pre-service teachers’ beliefs on science and learning.
Science Teacher (6/04–8/04), The Governor’s School of North Carolina (residential summer school)
- Taught physics, astronomy, philosophy of science, and personal development to intellectually gifted high school students in North Carolina
- Created learning activities that used content-based exploration to develop students’ scientific epistemology and argumentation.
Science Teacher (9/99-6/02), The Berkeley Carroll School
- Developed and taught 7th grade Physical Science, 9th grade conceptual physics, and 12th grade science and ethics courses; courses focused on conceptual and nature of science growth and interdisciplinary learning
Science and Mathematics Teacher (9/97–6/99) The Saddle River Day School
- Developed and taught Honors Physics, Physics, 6th grade science, and AP Calculus AB and BC courses
- Conducted a search for a new Lower School science curriculum
Fellowships, Grants & Awards
Goldhaber Travel Grant, University of Maryland, 2010
Fellowship, College of Education, University of Maryland, 2003-2004
Travel Grants, College of Education, University of Maryland, 2007, 2005; the International School of Physics, Research on Physics Education Session, 2003
Research and Policy Support Group of the New York City Department of Education (Sept 2017). Algebra for All School Year 2016-2017 Memo: Questions, Findings, and Recommendations. *contributed qualitative analysis of participants’ implementation experience for the internal report.
Research and Policy Support Group of the New York City Department of Education (June, 2016). Middle School Quality Initiative School Year 2015-2016 Memo: Questions, Findings, and Recommendations. *contributed qualitative analysis of MSQI coach and administrator implementation experience for the internal report.
Lau, M., Elby, A., and Myeson, J. (2008). Two distinct ways of attending to the substance of students’ ideas. Proceedings from the International Conference for the Learning Science, Utrecht, Netherlands.
Beckmann, P. A., Burbank, K. S., Lau, M. M. W., Ree, J. N., Weber, T. L. (2002). “Solid state proton spin-lattice relaxation in four structurally related organic molecules.” Chemical Physics, 290, 241-250.
Manuscripts in progress
Lau, M. and Sikorski, T. (2018). Dimensions of Science Promoted in Museum Experiences for Teachers. Journal of Science Teacher Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/1046560X.2018.1483688
Lau, M. and Multani, S. (in forthcoming book Research to Practice in PCK). Engineering STEM Teacher Learning: Using Design-Make-Play to develop disciplinary teaching knowledge.
Lau, M., Elby, A., and Hovan, D. (under review). Accounting for variability in teacher epistemology: resources and framing.
Lau, M. and Kanter, D. (March 2017) Scoping a Networked Improvement Community Within An Existing Professional Community: a case study from 100Kin10. Presentation at the 2017 Carnegie Foundation Summit on Improvement in Education, San Francisco, CA.
Lau, M., Stein, M.K., Reynolds, B., Kisa, M. T., Schunn, C., Schuchardt, A.M., Ruppel, R., Cox, C.D., Bender, S. (2012) Designing and improving educative curriculum materials for teachers: a STEM integrated secondary school biology unit on Mendelian Genetics, paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Vancouver, BC. April, 2012
Lau, M. Frame Analysis as a way to understand the complex dynamic of classroom teaching practice, poster presented at the annual meeting of the Physics Education Research Conference, Portland, OR, July 2010.
Lau, M. and Elby, A. Dave’s 9th-grade physics class: a “sticky” shift from eliciting ideas to finding correct answers, poster presented in an interactive poster session at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Denver, CO, April 2010.
Lau, M., Elby, A., Myeson, J. Two distinct ways of attending to the substance of student ideas, poster presented at the International Conference of the Learning Science, Utretch, Netherlands, June 2008.
Lau, M. “Is that what you are saying?”: An investigations into how a teacher attends to student ideas, data presentation given at the 29th Annual Ethnography in Education Research Forum, Philadelphia, PA, February 2008.
Lau, M., Hammer, D., Elby, A., Hovan, D. Framing as a Tool for Understanding Variability in Teacher Attention and Interaction, poster presented in an interactive poster session at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL, April 2007.
Lau, M., Elby, A., Hammer, D., Hovan, D. Case for variability in teaching practice, talk presented at the American Association of Physics Teachers Conference, Syracuse, NY, July 2006.
Lau, M., Elby, A., Hammer, D., Hovan, D. How a teacher framed his interactions with his students: a window into the complexities of practice, poster presented at the American Association of Physics Teachers Conference, Syracuse, NY, July 2006.
Lau, M. and Hammer, D. What a teacher hears: A case of how a teaching intern makes sense of student ideas in science, poster presented in an interactive poster session at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Montreal, Canada, April 2005.
Lau, M. and Hammer, D., Making sense of Student Ideas- what one pre-service teacher noticed in his elementary science class, talk presented at the American Association of Physics Teachers Conference, Sacramento, CA July 2004.
Hutchison, P. and Lau, M. Bad at Science but Good at Inquiry? A Case Study, talk presented at the American Association of Physics Teachers Conference, Madison, WI, August 2003.
Lau, M. Examples of Student Inquiry in a 5th grade classroom, poster presentation at the National Science Teachers Association’s National Conference, March 2003
Lau, M. Sense-making in science: a proposal for a teacher professional development program. Invited talk given at Knowles Science Teaching Foundation, Moorestown, NJ May 2008
Lau, M. Understanding the dynamics of teacher attention. Invited talk given at TERC, Cambridge, MA March 2008.
Hammer, D. and Lau, M. Helping Pre-service Elementary Teachers Learn to Attend to Student Thinking, invited talk given at the American Association of Physics Teachers Conference, Miami, FL, January, 2004.
CoExIST: a convening of experts on interorganizational collaboration in STEM. NSF INCLUDES Conference. Dallas, TX, 2017.
Conference on Video cases for Analysis of Science. LessonLab Research Institute. Santa Monica, CA, 2006.
Featured in article, “Teachers who make magic”, Creative Classrooms Magazine, August 2001.
Co-organizer of the 2011 Physics Education Research Conference Frontiers in Assessment: Instrumentation, Goals & Practice, Omaha, NE.
Graduate student representative on faculty search committee, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Maryland. (09/05-05/06) A voting member of the search committee for new tenure-line faculty hire in the Science Education.
Co-organizer of the Physics Education Research Seminar, Department of Physics. (09/04-05/05) Scheduled speakers, arranged travel and housing for speakers, and organized seminars on Education and Physics Education research.
Reviewed submissions for publication in the journals: Cognition and Instruction, the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Science Education, Physical Review Special Topics – Physics Education Research, Cultural Studies of Science Education, and the Physics Education Research Conference proceedings.
Reviewed proposals for the International Conference of the Learning Sciences and the annual meetings of the American Educational Research Association and National Association of Research in Science Teaching.
Reviewed proposals for NSF EHR grant programs.
National Association of Science Teachers
American Education Research Association
National Association of Research in Science Teaching
Association of Science Teacher Educators