Tiffany-Rose Sikorski

Tiffany-Rose Sikorski
Assistant Professor, Curriculum & Pedagogy; Science

Dr. Sikorski’s research explores how learners of all ages think, reason, and talk science. She specializes in analyzing “coherence seeking,” that is, learners’ collaborative efforts to build relationships between ideas and identify and reconcile inconsistencies.

Her current work continues to expand the coherence seeking framework so that it can inform the design of assessments, curriculum, and learning progressions aimed at supporting scientific inquiry and disciplinary practices of science.

Dr. Sikorski's recently funded projects include the STEM Integration Project (Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School), the HARK Proof of Concept project (Honda Motor Company & Honda Research Institute Japan), Building Capacity for Disciplinary Experts in Math and Science Teaching (National Science Foundation), and The GW Learning Assistant Program (GW Columbian College of Arts and Sciences).

Dr. Sikorski's science teaching experience includes public and charter high schools, after school programs, and museum settings. Her pedagogy courses aim to empower future teachers to create meaningful science learning experiences for their students, experiences that build on students’ vast capabilities for making sense of the natural world and that sustain student interest and participation over time.

Ph.D., Curriculum and Instruction (Science Education), University of Maryland, College Park
M.A.T., Secondary Education (Physics), Boston University
B.A., Physics and Astronomy, Boston University


Lau, M., & Sikorski, T. (2018). Dimensions of science promoted in museum experiences for teachers. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 1-22.

Sikorski, T., White, G., & Landay, J. (2018). Uptake of solution checks by undergraduate physics students. In L. Ding, A. Traxler, & Y. Cao (Eds.), Proceedings of the Physics Education Research Conference 2017, Cincinnati, OH. American Association of Physics Teachers.

Sikorski, T. R., & Hammer, D. (2017). Looking for coherence in science curriculum. Science Education, 101(6), 929-943.

Sikorski, T. (2017, Spring). Doing science in science education courses. American Physical Society Forum on Education Spring 2017 Newsletter, 14-16.

Sikorski, T. (2015). Understanding responsive curriculum from the students’ perspective. In A. Robertson, R. Scherr, & D. Hammer (Eds.), Responsive teaching in mathematics and science (pp. 85-104). New York, NY: Routledge.

Hammer, D., & Sikorski, T. (2015). Implications of complexity for research on learning progressions. Science Education, 99 (3), 424-431.

Sikorski, T. (2012). Developing an alternative perspective on coherence seeking in science classrooms. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of Maryland, College Park.

Sikorski, T., & Hammer, D. (2010). A critique of how learning progressions research conceptualizes sophistication and progress. In K. Gomez, L. Lyons, & J. Radinsky (Eds.), Learning in the disciplines: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of the learning sciences (ICLS 2010)-Volume 1, Full Papers. Chicago, IL: International Society of the Learning Sciences.


Pak, A., & Sikorski, T. (2017, April). An analysis of discussion quality in LA-supported group physics problem solving. Paper presented at the 2017 Annual International Conference of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, San Antonio, TX.

Ryu, M., & Sikorski, T. (2015). Characterizing shifts in Selena’s talk: A study of students’ discursive participation in afterschool Science Club. Paper presented at the 2015 Annual International Conference of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, Chicago, IL.

Sikorski, T., & Doebel, H. (2015). A disciplinary practices-oriented rationale for science and science education faculty collaboration in pre-service methods courses. Paper presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, Chicago, IL.

Sawtelle, V., Sikorski, T., Turpen, C., & Redish, E. F. (2012, August). Examining the positioning of ideas in the disciplines. In S. Rebello, P. Engelhardt, & A. D. Churukian (Eds.), Proceedings of the Physics Education Research Conference, Philadelphia, PA.

Sikorski, T., Winters, V., & Hammer, D. (2009). Defining a learning progression for scientific inquiry. In A. Alonzo & A. W. Gotwals (Eds.), Proceedings of the learning progressions in science conference, Iowa City, IA.

In the News

Dr. Tiffany Sikorski gave an invited presentation at the American Association of Physics Teachers Winter Meeting in Houston, TX. The title of the presentation was "How Students Perceive an Instructor’s Emphasis on Limiting Case Analysis." Dr. Gary D. White from GW's Department of Physics was her co-author.

Dr. Tiffany Sikorski, along with GW undergraduate alumnae Alaina Pak, Marissa Mangini, and Clare Green--who participated in the GW Learning Assistant (LA) program as undergraduates--had a paper published in the Proceedings of the Physics Education Research Conference (December 31st, 2018). The paper is entitled, "Talk moves, argumentation, and questioning patterns in LA-supported group problem solving." The GW LA Program places talented undergraduates into classrooms as Learning Assistants, where they work closely with the lead instructor to plan and enact research-based teaching practices.

Dr. Tiffany Sikorski's article entitled "Looking for coherence in science curriculum," published in Science Education, was one of the journal’s top 20 most downloaded recent papers.

Dr. Curtis Pyke and Dr. Tiffany Sikorski, along with colleagues from the Smithsonian Institution, published a book chapter in Pedagogical Content Knowledge in STEM - Research to Practice [click "Free Preview" to see abstract] entitled "Pre-service Teachers Developing PCK in a Natural History Museum." The chapter is about the design and study of a pre-service teacher field experience that takes place at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History's immersive space Q?rius ("curious").