Susan Johnson was an academic coordinator and Teaching Professor for CalTeach/The Science and Math Initiative in the Teacher Education Program and Department of Education. She taught at the GGSE from 2010-2018. Her position involved the recruitment and mentoring of undergraduates interested in secondary school teaching, teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses for pre-service teachers, and collaborating with education, science and mathematics faculty at UCSB.
Dr. Johnson’s career as an educator has included teaching science for several years at a middle school and at a high school for thirty-one years. She also taught secondary science methods at University of Wisconsin, Madison. For five years she was fortunate to be able to teach part time while working at the National Center for Improving Student Learning and Achievement in Mathematics and Science at the Wisconsin Center for Educational Research. Dr. Johnson was a part of a research team that included teachers, graduate students, and science education faculty. They developed and implemented curricula for my classroom and then conducted research on the student learning that occurred. Some of the results of that collaborative effort are described in How Students Learn: Science in the Classroom.
While in graduate school she was able to conduct research in a molecular genetics lab that changed the way she thought about my classroom. She now wanted students to be involved in the process of science, not solely learning the products of that process. Her classroom practice also benefited from collaborations with STEM faculty, who were experts in their fields and also interested in K-12 public education.
Throughout 38 years in education Dr. Johnson has found that collaboration has been key to her classroom practice. She continued that collaboration, which included faculty, staff and students, here at UCSB.