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David Owens - Georgia Southern University. Savannah, GA, US

David Owens

Assistant Professor | Georgia Southern University


David Owens' research is on motivating learning contexts that promote functional STEM literacy.






Parent U TV- Dr. David Owens, Georgia Southern



David Owens' research is on motivating learning contexts that promote functional STEM literacy (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), including how these contexts enhance students’ motivation to learn and improve their learning outcomes, as well as the practices in which teachers engage to develop such learning context (e.g. active learning, gameful learning, socio-scientific issues).

Areas of Expertise (5)

Science Education

Gameful Learning

STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering & Math Disciplines

Active Learning

Socio-Scientific Issues

Accomplishments (2)

Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (personal)


Fulbright Award (professional)

2014 Brazil English Teaching Program

Education (3)

Middle Tennessee State University: BS, Animal Biology 2002

Middle Tennessee State University: PhD, Mathematics and Science Education 2016

Dissertation: The Effects of Gamification on Achievement Goal Orientation and Motivation to Learn Biology in an Introductory Undergraduate Laboratory Course

University of Nebraska: MS, Aquatic Ecology 2010

Affiliations (6)

  • National Association for Research in Science Teaching
  • American Educational Research Association
  • Association for Science Teacher Education
  • National Association of Biology Teachers
  • National Science Teachers Association
  • North American Benthological Society

Articles (3)

Cultivating Water Literacy in STEM Education: Undergraduates’ Socio-Scientific Reasoning about Socio-Hydrologic Issues


Water-literate individuals effectively reason about the hydrologic concepts that underlie socio-hydrological issues (SHI), but functional water literacy also requires concomitant reasoning about the societal, non-hydrological aspects of SHI. Therefore, this study explored the potential for the socio-scientific reasoning construct (SSR), which includes consideration of the complexity of issues, the perspectives of stakeholders involved, the need for ongoing inquiry, skepticism about information sources, and the affordances of science toward the resolution of the issue, to aid undergraduates in acquiring such reasoning skills.

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Student Motivation and Resistance in Active Learning Classrooms

Active Learning in College Science

Although the positive effects of active learning (AL) on students’ learning and attitudes are well documented, there seems to be an equally large amount of evidence suggesting that students resist AL. In this chapter, we explore this AL paradox by describing a study that employed a novel AL approach aligned with reform documents and a consensus definition of AL in order to uncover sources of motivation from and resistance to AL.

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Student Motivation from and Resistance to Active Learning Rooted in Essential Science Practices

Research in Science Education

Several studies have found active learning to enhance students’ motivation and attitudes. Yet, faculty indicate that students resist active learning and censure them on evaluations after incorporating active learning into their instruction, resulting in an apparent paradox. We argue that the disparity in findings across previous studies is the result of variation in the active learning instruction that was implemented.

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