Liza Finkel

Liza Finkel

Associate Professor, Secondary Program Director

Rogers Hall 421, MSC: 14

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 Program Director and the Science & Math Content Area Coordinator in the Secondary MAT program. She earned her BS in geology from George Washington University, her MS in geology from the University of Michigan and her PhD in science education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Liza has taught middle and high school science (including classes in Earth science, chemistry, physical science and environmental science) in St. Louis, Missouri and in rural Maine.

Areas of Expertise

Science Education, Teacher Education, Democratic Education, Secondary Education, Public School Reform, Science Teaching

Current Research

Liza’s research and teaching focus on supporting preservice teachers to become social justice educators and 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, L. (2018). Infusing social justice into the science classroom: Building a social justice movement in science education. The Journal of Educational Foundations, 31(1&2): 38-56.
  • 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.

Academic Credentials

PhD University of Wisconsin-Madison, MS University of Michigan, BS George Washington University

Location: Rogers Hall