Dr. Tiffany-Rose Sikorski

Associate Professor, Curriculum and Pedagogy; Science

School: Graduate School of Education and Human Development

Department: Curriculum and Pedagogy


Dr. Sikorski is an Associate Professor of Curriculum and Pedagogy, with a courtesy appointment in Department of Physics at the George Washington University. Her 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 Service Learning Projects to Improve Engineering Students' Civic Engagement and Capacity for Innovation (National Science Foundation), 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. Dr. Sikorski is a recipient of the Morton A. Bender Teaching Award and a member of GW's Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

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

White, G., Sikorski, T. R., Landay, J., & Ahmed, M. (2023). Limiting case analysis in an electricity and magnetism course. Physical Review Physics Education Research, 19(1), 010125. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.19.010125

Starita, J., White, G., & Sikorski, T. (2020, July). What makes a person a physicist? Learning Assistant and physics major views. In S. Wolf, M. B. Bennett, & B. W. Frank (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2020 Physics Education Virtual Research Conference. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1119/perc.2020.pr.Starita 

Malkus, M. & Sikorski, T. (2019, Fall). How a University and a Jewish Day School Can Collaborate on Curricular Innovation. HaYidion, 16-17.

Sikorski, T. R. (2019). Context-Dependent “Upper Anchors” for Learning Progressions. Science & Education, 1-25.

Ryu, M. & Sikorski, T. (2019). Tracking a learner’s verbal participation in science over time: Analysis of talk features within a social context. Science Education. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/sce.21493

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. https://www.compadre.org/per/items/detail.cfm?ID=14647

Pyke, C., Sikorski, T., Bray, Rebecca, & Popson, C. (2018). Pre-service teachers developing PCK in  a natural history museum. In S. Uzzo, S.B. Graves, E. Shay, M. Harford, & R. Thompson (Eds.), Pedagogical Content Knowledge in STEM (pp. 177-194). Springer.

Pak, A., Mangini, M., Green, C., & Sikorski, T. (2018). An analysis of discussion quality in LA-supported physics problem solving. In  A. Traxler, Y. Cao, & S. Wolf (Eds.), 2018 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings. Washington, DC: 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. (2023, April). Epistemic Frame Shifts to Analyze Coherence from the Learners’ Perspective [Paper]. In F. Williamson, B. Couch, R. Talbot, S. Lo, G. Dolphin, & J. Taylor, Contemporary Methods in Science Education Research RIG session on Measurement, Methodologies, and Methods in Science Education Research. 2023 National Association for Research in Science Teaching Annual International Conference, Chicago, IL.

Sikorski, T. (2023, April). Reflecting on the Definition of a Learning Progression. In J. Osborne, K. Gunkel, R. Lehrer, A. Alonzo, M. Wilson, & T. Sikorski, Learning Progressions in Science: What have we learnt and where next? [Symposium]. 2023 National Association for the Research in Science Teaching Annual International Conference, Chicago, IL.

Sikorski, T., Shittu, E., & Wortham, E. (2023, April). Social Innovation as Accountable Disciplinary Knowledge in Undergraduate Engineering [Paper]. 2023 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL.

Shittu, E., Sikorski, T.,& Wortham, E. (2022, March). Engineering students’ self-efficacy and civic responsibility in a social innovation curriculum [Paper]. 2022 National Association for Research in Science Teaching Annual International Virtual Conference.

Williams, T., Chappell, K., & Sikorski, T. (2022, January). Supporting equitable, place-based science education for early elementary children and their teachers. Association for Science Teacher Education 2022 Conference, Greenville, SC.  

Sikorski, T. & Lee, B. (2021, August). Prioritizing student coherence seeking on concept questions [Poster]. 2021 Physics Education Research Virtual Conference. 

Sikorski T. (2020, January). Helping students make connections in science class: Lessons learned from the TIMSS Video Study. Paper presented at the Association for Science Teacher Education 2020 International Conference, San Antonio, TX.

Sikorski, T. & McClary, L. (2019, October). Examining intellectual empathy among undergraduate Learning Assistants. Poster presented at the LA Research Symposium 2019, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.

Sikorski, T. & Doebel, H. (2019, April). Cultivating student agency and negotiation of epistemic criteria through “next moves” conversations. In D. Hammer & J. Gouvea (Chairs), Designing For and Engaging With Variation in Students’ Thinking in Science. Poster symposium presented at the 2019 International Conference of the American Educational Research Association, Toronto, Canada.

Sikorski, T. & Straus, A. (2019, April). Shifting Attention from Lesson Coherence to Student Coherence Seeking: Examples from the TIMSS Video Study. Poster presented at the 2019 Annual International Conference of the American Educational Research Association, Toronto, Canada.

Short, Mary E., & Sikorski, T. (2019, April). Analyzing coordination between scientific practices and crosscutting concepts in the NGSS. Paper presented at the 2019 Annual International Conference of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, Baltimore, MD.

Sikorski, T. & White, G. (2019, January). How students perceive an instructor’s emphasis on limiting case analysis. Invited poster presented at the Winter 2019 National Meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers, Houston, TX.

Sikorski, T. & Lau, M. (2018, April). Science teacher learning in museums: What dimensions of science are promoted? Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association 2018 Annual Meeting, New York, NY.

Sikorski, T. (2018, March). Avoiding overspecification of expertise in learning progressions: The example of epistemic aims. Paper presented at the 2018 Annual International Conference of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, Atlanta, GA.

Smetana, L., Sikorski, T., Carlson, M., Lau, M., & Bedford, A. (2018, January). Teacher learning in  informal settings: Research, trends, and emerging opportunities. Symposium presented at the Association for Science Teacher Education 2018 International Conference, Baltimore, MD.

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.