Dr. Liza Finkel is an Associate Professor of Education in the Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling in the Department of Teacher Education. She is also the Faculty Fellow on the Collaborative Approaches to Undergraduate Science Education (CAUSE 2.0) grant, a project funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute that focuses on increasing participation in the sciences and math by students from under-represented groups. She earned her B.S. in geology from George Washington University, her M.S. in geology from the University of Michigan and her Ph.D. in science education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Before coming to Lewis & Clark, Liza served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and as Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the Graduate School of Education at Portland State University (2009–2013); served as the Director of the Center for Classroom Teaching and Learning at Education Northwest (2008–2009) and was a member of the faculty in the Education Department at the University of New Hampshire (1999–2008). While at UNH, Liza served as Director of Field Experiences and as Director of Teacher Education; she earned an Excellence in Teaching Award from the UNH College of Liberal Arts in 2006.
Liza has also taught middle and high school science (including classes in Earth science, chemistry, physical science and environmental science) at a small private school in St. Louis, Missouri and at a large public school in rural Maine.
Areas of Expertise
Science Education, Teacher Education, Democratic Education, Secondary Education, Public School Reform, Science Teaching
Liza’s current research is focused on improving the quality of undergraduate science teaching with a particular focus on increasing the number of students from under-represented minority groups who choose and succeed in careers in science (including science teaching). She has also studied the challenges of using inquiry-based science teaching strategies with diverse groups of students and has conducted research on student problem-solving strategies in inquiry-based classrooms.
Finkel, Liza (2016). Walking the Path Together from High School to STEM Majors and Careers: Utilizing Community Engagement and a Focus on Teaching to Increase Opportunities for URM Students. Journal of Science Education and Technolog, published online 10/06/16.
- Weasel, Lisa and Finkel, Liza (2016). Deliberative Pedagogy in a Large, Non-majors Biology Course: Active Learning that Promotes Student Engagement with Science Policy and Research for all Students. Journal of College Science Teaching. Vol. 45(4), pp 38-45.
- Finkel, Liza, section editor (2007). Accommodating Student Diversity within Inquiry. In: Abrams, Eleanor, Southerland, Sherry, & Silva, Peggy, Eds., Inquiry in the Classroom: Challenges and Opportunities. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.
- Finkel, Liza (2007), Inquiry Based Instruction and Diverse Learners. In: Abrams, Eleanor, Southerland, Sherry, & Silva, Peggy, Eds. Inquiry in the Classroom: Challenges and Opportunities. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.
- Eisenhart, M. & Finkel, E. (1998). Women’s Science: Learning and Succeeding from the Margins. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.
- Eisenhart, M.; Finkel, Elizabeth A.; & Marion, Scott (1996). Creating the Conditions for Scientific Literacy: A Re-examination. The American Educational Research Journal, 33(2): 261-295.
- Finkel, Elizabeth A. (1996). Making Sense of Genetics: Students’ Knowledge use During Problem Solving in a High School Genetics Class. The Journal of Research in Science Teaching; 33(4): 345-368.
- Finkel, Elizabeth & Stewart, Jim (1994). Strategies for Model Revision in a High School Genetics Class. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 1(3).
- Stewart, J., Hafner; R., Johnson, S.; & Finkel, E.A. (1992). Science as Model-Building: Computers and High School Genetics. Educational Psychologist, 27(3),(Special Feature: New Directions in Technology Mediated Learning–Richard Lehrer guest editor.) p. 317-336.
- Finkel, Elizabeth A. & Wilkinson, Bruce H. (1990). Stylolitization as a Source of Cement in Mississippian Salem Limestone, West-Central Indiana. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, 74(2): 174-186.
Finkel, Liza (2016), Community Engagement and Leadership in Science: Increasing Opportunities for URM Students in STEM. Poster presented at Diversity, Learning, and Student Success Conference, Philadelphia, PA, March 17-19, 2016.
- de Paula, J., Finkel, L., Stanhope, E. (2015, June). Promoting STEM Persistence and Interest in K-12 Teaching through Community Outreach and the Math Curriculum at Lewis & Clark College. Poster session presented at the “Promoting Persistence and Success: Adapting Promising Practices and Promoting Institutional Change” Howard Hughes Medical Institute Constellation Studios For Science Education, Chevy Chase, MD.
Finkel, Liza and Weasel, Lisa (2013). Using Deliberative Democratic Exercises to Engage Diverse Undergraduate Students in STEM Learning. Presented at the American Association of Colleges and Universities Transforming STEM Education: Inquiry, Innovation, Inclusion and Evidence Conference, San Diego, CA.
- Finkel, Liza, Wagner, Stephanie and Dean, Kate (2012). Supporting Education Research to Enhance Classroom Practice. Presented at the Annual Western Region NSF Noyce Conference, Tucson, AZ.
- Finkel, Liza and Fletcher, Scott (2012). Building School-University Partnerships Across Multiple Institutions: The Portland Metro Education Partnership. Presented at the Annual Professional Development Schools Conference, Las Vegas, NV.
- Smith, Carole, Finkel, Liza, and Fletcher, Scott (2011). The Portland Metro Education Partnership. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Council of Great City Schools. Boston, MA.
- Finkel, Liza and Shusterman, Gwen, (2011). The Use of Critical Friends Groups to Enhance Teaching and Learning. Presented at the Northwest Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Portland, OR.
- Chaille, Christine, De la Cruz, Emily, Nordhoff, Karen, and Finkel, Liza (2011). The role of faculty in developing partnerships to improve clinical experiences: Balancing cohesion and experimentation in a teacher education program. Presented at the Annual Conference of the American Association for Colleges of Teacher Education, San Diego, CA.
- Finkel, Liza and Esparza-Brown, Julie (2010). Preparing a Diverse Teacher Workforce to Teach in Diverse Classrooms. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Council of the Great City Schools, Tampa, FL.
- Bryce, JG, Finkel L, Froburg, E, Graham, K, Hale, S, Johnson, JE, Varner, RK, and Von Damm, KL, (2008). An Inquiry Approach to Fostering Stronger Earth Science Backgrounds in Current and Future Middle and High School Science Teachers: Research Techniques as Mechanisms of Teaching Time Scales and Systems Interactions in the Earth System. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA.
- Johnson, J, Varner, RK, Bryce, J, Finkel, L, Froburg, E, Graham, K, Hale, SR, and Von Damm, K, (2008). Teachers as Researchers: Using Estuarine Processes to Learn and Teach Earth System Interactions. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA.
- Varner, Ruth; Graham, Karen; Bryce, Julia; Finkel, Liza; Froburg, Erik; Hale, Stephen R; Johnson, Joel; and von Damm, Karen (2008, December). UNH’s Transforming Earth System Science Education (TESSE) Program. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA.
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison, M.S. University of Michigan, B.S. George Washington University
From the Newsroom
To interest more students—especially women and underrepresented minorities—in science and math education, professor Liza Finkel is restructuring classrooms around the model of deliberative democracy.