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.

Education
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

Publications

Sikorski, T., & Hammer, D. (in press). Looking for coherence in science curriculum. Science Education.

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 Unpublished doctoral dissertation.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.

Presentations

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 presented a talk titled, "Avoiding overspecification of expertise in learning progressions: The example of epistemic aims" at the 2018 Annual International Conference of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching. In addition, Dr. Sikorski, Dr. Gary White, and Justin Landay published a paper titled, "Uptake of solution checks by undergraduate physics students" in the Proceedings of the Physics Education Research Conference.

Congratulations to Dr. Tiffany Sikorski, who has been selected to receive a GW 2018 Morton A. Bender Teaching Award. Dr. Sikorski's award will be presented at this spring's University Faculty Honors Celebration.

The Morton A. Bender Teaching Award recognizes GW faculty with demonstrated excellence in the following criteria:

  • Application of appropriate pedagogical principles and effective teaching practices in higher education and/or the specific discipline or area being taught.
  • Commitment to student learning and adaptation of instructional methods to differing students' strengths, needs, and differences.
  • Use of student assignments that reflect high academic standards and expectations for high achievement.
  • Fostering a high level of student involvement and intellectual excitement.
  • Availability to students outside of regularly scheduled class times.
  • Participation in the peer review of teaching.
  • Engagement in the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Dr. Tiffany Sikorski posted a blog entitled CESJDS-GW Update: Introducing the Curriculum Integration Leadership Team. The post discusses the STEM Integration Project, an innovative collaboration between the Charles E. Smith Lower School and GSEHD.

Dr. Tiffany Sikorski recently presented a talk at the Association for Science Teacher Education Annual International Conference in Baltimore, MD. The presentation was titled "Teacher learning in informal settings: Research, trends, and emerging opportunities," based on work her work with authors: Lara K. Smetana, Loyola University Chicago; Matty Lau, Teacher Learning Consultancy; Jenna Carlson, Loyola University Chicago; and Amy Bedford, Loyola University Chicago.

Faculty, students and alumni represented GSEHD at the 2017 Teaching Day at GW. Dr. Tiffany Sikorski, along with GW undergraduate students Acacia Ackles and Alaina Pak, presented How to Improve In-Class Activities with Undergraduate Learning Assistants.