Monday, October 16, 2017

By Sara Nelson Photo by Mei-Ling Shaw Williams

New Clinical Associate Professor in Science Education, Ted Neal, seeks to help students reach their goals of becoming excellent teachers through his work with climate science and professional development in the classroom.

As a former instructor in the Science Education Program, and University of Iowa alumnus, Neal is not new to the College of Education. After receiving his Master of Science in education from Drake University, he received his doctorate in science education from the University of Iowa. In addition, Neal previously worked as a secondary science teacher in Cedar Rapids and Linho, Portugal.

“I want my University of Iowa students to realize that there are better ways to teach and embrace science, and help them know that they are amazing teachers working with amazing kids,” says Neal.

Neal’s previous research has centered on how classroom environments impact student learning, and how real-world learning problems impact student education. His current scholarship focuses on climate science, and how a different learning environment can impact student beliefs and understanding.

“I’m looking forward to continue to help students reach their goals of becoming amazing teachers. Overall, my goal remains the same, trying to help k-12 students achieve their personal learning objectives,” says Neal.

Neal is an active volunteer within the community. He regularly visits schools and local areas to work with teachers and students, to help influence how children learn and how teachers teach. He also works on the science leadership team for the state of Iowa, and runs the Southeast Iowa Externship Program, which connects in-service teachers with businesses.

“I’m just really excited to continue to work with such amazing people, from my colleagues, to my students, to teachers and kids in buildings,” says Neal. “I’m very blessed to get to work at the University of Iowa, and so honored to get to help shape education for kids, it’s an incredible gift.”

See a related story and video on STEM innovation and exploration, including learning about a Geoscience Field Course that Neal teaches in Colorado.