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


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 Unpublished doctoral dissertation.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.


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 Alonzo, A. & Gotwals, A. W. (Eds.), Proceedings of the Learning Progressions in Science Conference, Iowa City, IA.

In the News

Dr. Tiffany Sikorski recently published an article in the journal Science Education titled Looking for coherence in science curriculum.

Dr. Tiffany Sikorski spoke at Purdue University's Chemical Education Seminar. The talk was entitled Do undergraduate peer instructors lack intellectual empathy?

Drs. Tiffany-Rose Sikorski, Maia Sheppard, Curtis Pyke, and Jonathan Eakle were awarded a Collaboration Grant from 100Kin10 for their ongoing work with the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and Loyola University Chicago to find better ways to link university-based teacher preparation programs with museums and cultural institutions.

Dr. Tiffany-Rose Sikorski (PI) and the HARK Proof of Concept Project team (undergraduate research assistants Alaina Pak, Marissa Mangini, and Clare Green) presented the paper An analysis of discussion quality in LA-supported physics group problem solving at the NARST Annual International Conference in San Antonio, TX.

Drs. Larry Medsker (CCAS and GSEHD), Daniel Ullman (CCAS), Jonathon A. Grooms (GSEHD), LaKeisha M. McClary (CCAS), and Tiffany-Rose Sikorski (GSEHD) were awarded a grant of $1,496,905 from the The National Science Foundation for their 5-year project STEM Teaching Excellence in High-Need Schools: Teacher Preparation in the Nation's Capital. Drs. Jerry Feldman (CCAS) and Curtis Pyke (GSEHD) are also on the grant as Other Senior Personnel. This award started April 1 , 2017.