Loyola University Chicago

School of Education

Faculty and Staff Directory

Smetana, Lara

Title/s:  Associate Professor;
Program Co-Chair of Scheduling

Specialty Area: Science Education, Teacher Preparation

Office #:  Lewis Towers 1042, WTC

Phone: 312.915.6273


CV Link: Smetana CV

Selected Grant-funded Projects

  • LUC-Noyce: Redefining STEM Teacher Preparation by Teaching, Learning ,and Leading with Schools and Communities.
  • School Structure and Science Success.


Ph.D., University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

Program Areas

  • Science Education 
  • Teacher Preparation

Research Interests

  • Ecological perspectives in science teaching and learning
  • Informal science education
  • Urban science teacher preparation & university-school-community partnerships
  • Equity issues within science education

Professional & Community Affiliations

  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE) - Equity Committee (2017-2020)
  • National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST)
  • National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)

Courses Taught

  • TLSC 231/421: Teaching Science in Elementary & Middle Schools
  • TLSC 300/400: Professional Learning Communities
  • TLSC 450: Teaching and Learning in an Area of Specialization – Secondary Science
  • TLSC 451: Teaching and Learning with a Global Framework – Secondary Science
  • CIEP 540 Seminar — Research in Curriculum & Instruction
  • CIEP 600 – Dissertation Supervision

Selected Publications

  • Smetana, L.K., Birmingham, D., Rouleau, H., Carlson, J., & Phillips, S. (2017). Cultural institutions as partners in initial elementary science teacher preparation. Innovations in Science Teacher Education, 2(2).
  • Smetana, L.K., Wenner, J., Settlage, J. & McCoach, D.B. (2016). Clarifying and capturing ‘trust’ in relation to science education: Dimensions of trustworthiness and associations with equitable student achievement. Science Education, 100(1), 78–95.
  • Smetana, L.K. & Coleman, E.R. (2015). School science capacity: A study of four urban Catholic grade schools. Journal of Catholic Education, 19(1), 95-128.
  • Settlage, J., Southerland, S.A., Smetana, L.K. & Lottero‐Perdue, P.S. (2017). Teaching science to every child: Using culture as the starting point, 3rd Edition. New York: Routledge.