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Smetana, Lara K.T.

Title/s:  Professor

Specialty Area: Science Education - elementary & secondary teacher preparation, Science Education - research & practice

Office #:  Lewis Towers 1042, WTC

Phone: 312.915.6273

Email: lsmetana@luc.edu

Selected Grant-funded Projects

  • PI, LUC-Noyce Scholars (2017-2022) NSF 1660794
  • Co-PI, School Organization and Science Achievement (2011-2016) NSF 1119349
  • Advisory Board, Emerging and Effective Culturally Relevant Practices for Mathematics and Science Teaching in High Needs Schools (2020-2023) NSF 2001058


  • PhD, Science Education, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

Program Areas

  • Teaching, Learning ,and Leading with Schools and Communities
  • Science Education

Research Interests

  • Informal science education & community partnerships
  • Science teacher identity and practice
  • Teacher preparation, induction and retention

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 300a/b: Professional Learning Communities
  • TLSC 425: Teaching Internship in Informal Education Settings
  • 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.T., & Kushki, A. (2020). Exploring career change transitions through a dialogic conceptualization of science teacher identity, Journal of Science Teacher Education, DOI: 10.1080/1046560X.2020.1802683
  • Smetana, L.K., Nelson, C.B., Whitehous, P., & Koin, K. (2019). Partnering for engineering teacher education. Innovations in Science Teacher Education, 4(2).
  • Heineke, A. J., Smetana, L.K., & Carlson, J. (2019). A qualitative case study of inclusive teacher education: One candidate¹s evolving understanding of science teaching for emergent bilinguals. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 30(1), 80-100.
  • Settlage, J., Southerland, S.A., Smetana, L. K. & Lottero-Perdue, P. (2017). Teaching science to every child: Using culture as the starting point, 3rd edition. New York: Routledge.
  • 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), 78–9.