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Joseph Krajcik - Michigan State University. East Lansing, MI, US

Joseph Krajcik

Professor and Director of the CREATE for STEM Institute | Michigan State University


Expert in K-16 teaching practices, focusing on the promotion of student engagement and learning in science






Faculty conversations: Joseph Krajcik Joe Krajcik: How the Next Generation Science Standards Were Developed



Joseph Krajcik serves as director of the CREATE for STEM Institute and is the Lappan-Phillips Professor of Science Education at Michigan State University. In his role as director of CREATE, he works with faculty, teachers and researchers to improve the teaching and learning of science, mathematics and engineering kindergarten through college by engaging in innovation and research. Throughout his career, Joe has focused on working with science teachers to design and test learning environments to reform science teaching practices and to research student learning and engagement in project-based learning environments. He has authored and co-authored books, over 100 manuscripts and curriculum materials. Joe served as president of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching from which he received the Distinguished Contributions to Science Education Through Research Award in 2010. In 2014 he received from Michigan Science Teachers’ Association the George G. Mallinson Award for overall excellence of contributions to science education. He was honored to receive a Distinguished Professorship from Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul, South Korea in 2009, Guest Professorships from Beijing Normal University in Beijing, China in 2002 and 2018, and the Weston Visiting Professor of Science Education from Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel in 2005.

Industry Expertise (4)

Public Policy



Writing and Editing

Areas of Expertise (3)

Designing Science Learning Environments

Science Education

Project-Based Learning

Education (1)

University of Iowa: Ph.D.

News (1)

Krajcik elected to National Academy of Education

MSU Today  online


Michigan State University Professor Joseph Krajcik has been elected to the National Academy of Education, an honor reserved for the nation’s most outstanding scholars in education.

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Journal Articles (3)

Learning Science

Yale Books

Joseph Krajcik, Barbara Schneider, et al.

2019 Countries around the world are experiencing a decline in science engagement, especially among minority groups, which ultimately can affect their pathway into STEM careers. One attempt to address this dilemma is a $3.6 million international project funded by the National Science Foundation, the first of its kind to directly address science learning and instruction aligned with new country-specific science standards. This book tells the story of that research project as it is implemented in physics and chemistry classrooms across the United States and Finland, involving thousands of students at the secondary school level.

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Synergy and students’ explanations: Exploring the role of generic and content-specific scaffolds

International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education

Ibrahim Delen, Joseph Krajcik

2016 In this study, we explored how a teacher used a new mobile application that enables students to collect data inside and outside the classroom, and then use the data to create scientific explanations by using claim-evidence-reasoning framework. Previous technologies designed to support scientific explanations focused on how these programs improve students’ scientific explanations, but these programs ignored how scientific explanation applications can support teacher practices. Thus, to increase our knowledge about using mobile devices in education, this study aims to portray the synergy with an emphasis on a teacher’s practices when using mobile devices in 2 different units (water quality and plants). Synergy can be thought of as various scaffolds (scaffolds in the mobile application and the teacher support) working together to enable students to support creating explanations when using the mobile application. The findings of this study showed that the decrease in the teacher’s support for claims did not affect the quality of the students’ claims. On the other hand, the quality of students’ reasoning was linked with the teacher’s practices. This suggests that when supporting students’ explanations, focusing on components that students find challenging would benefit students’ construction of explanations. To achieve synergy in this process, the collaboration between teacher’s practices, professional development days, and scaffolds designed to support the teacher played a crucial role in aiding students in creating explanations.

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Using mobile devices to connect teachers and museum educators

Research in Science Education

Ibrahim Delen, Joseph Krajcik

2016 The use of mobile devices is increasing rapidly as a potential tool for science teaching. In this study, five educators (three middle school teachers and two museum educators) used a mobile application that supported the development of a driving question. Previous studies have noted that teachers make little effort to connect learning experiences between classrooms and museums, and few studies have focused on creating connections between teachers and museum educators. In this study, teachers and museum educators created an investigation together by designing a driving question in conjunction with the research group before field trips. During field trips, students collected their own data using iPods or iPads to take pictures or record videos of the exhibits. When students returned to the school, they used the museum data with their peers as they tried to answer the driving question. After completing the field trips, five educators were interviewed to investigate their experiences with designing driving questions and using mobile devices. Besides supporting students in data collection during the field trip, using mobile devices helped teachers to get the museum back to the classroom. Designing the driving question supported museum educators and teachers to plan the field trip collaboratively.

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