115B Miller

Research Interests

Educational Policy
Effective Schools & School Systems
Policy & Educational Reform
Qualitative Research Methods
Science & Mathematics
Teacher Education & Research

Mark Windschitl


My new book on teaching climate change is now out (Harvard Ed Press).  A Primer on Climate Change: Teaching for Understanding, Resilience, and Justice.

Here's the companion website to the book: The Climate Change Educator

I am a professor of Science Teaching and Learning at the University of Washington. My research interests deal with the early career development of science teachers—in particular, their trajectories toward ambitious and equitable pedagogy. I am the lead author of Ambitious Science Teaching (Harvard Ed Press), along with Jessica Thompson and Melissa Braaten. My research has appeared in The American Educational Research Journal, Teachers College Record, Cognition and Instruction, Phi Delta Kappan, Science Education, and in white papers commissioned by the National Research Council and the National Academy of Science. I've been PI on multiple Noyce Teaching Scholars and Research grants and have supported teachers in that program in their transitions to urban schools. I have also administrated the Annenberg Fellowship program, known as the Rhodes Scholarships of Teaching— for teacher candidates at the UW. I'm a recipient of the AERA Presidential Award for Best Review of Research, the co-author of the chapter on Science Teaching in the new AERA Handbook of Research on Teaching, and a member of the National  Research Council Committee on Strengthening and Sustaining Teachers.

I'm currently working with Urban Advantage in New York City, supporting efforts to use Ambitious Science Teaching in places like The American Museum of Natural History, The Bronx Zoo, Brooklyn Botanical Garden, New York Hall of Science, and The Staten Island Zoo.

Other percolating projects:

  • Teacher learning and disciplined improvisation of practice to support all learners in classrooms
  • Classroom discourse, privilege, and power
  • Making thinking visible in science learning contexts
  • Scholarly writing as an everyday habit, a technical craft, and an argument for a specialized audience


Teaching Climate Change

This book is not just about teaching climate fundamentals. It will also help you prepare students to reconceptualize environmental and social conditions beyond their communities so they can become part of larger movements that work toward increasing resilience for all humans and for the natural world. This is not the only book you’ll ever need; rather, it is a springboard for deepening your own learning about key climate change ideas, helping you identify resources that support transformative experiences for you and your students, and mobilizing other educators to create coherent trajectories of learning from elementary through high school. Reimagining our roles and responsibilities in the world is the basis on which change depends. We can take this leap together.

  • Purchase "Teaching Climate Change"
  • Companion website: The Climate Change Educator

Ambitious Science Teaching

"Ambitious Science Teaching represents a vision for changing how children learn about the natural world. This vision focuses on the ideas and diverse resources that children bring to school every day, as building blocks for sensemaking and progressive knowledge-building."


Contributing author, National Research Council (2016). Strengthening K-12 Science Education through a Teacher Learning Continuum. National Academy Press.

Windschitl, M. & Calabrese Barton, A. (2016) Rigor and Equity By Design: Seeking a Core of Practices for the Science Education Community. AERA Handbook of Research on Teaching, 5th Edition.

Thompson, J., Windschitl, M., & Braaten, M. (2014) Developing a Theory of Ambitious Early-Career Teacher Practice. American Educational Research Journal.

Windschitl, M., Thompson, J., Braaten, M., & Stroupe, D. (2012). Proposing a Core Set of Instructional Practices and Tools for Teachers of Science, Science Education, 96(5), 878-903

Braaten, M. & Windschitl, M. (2011) Towards a Stronger Conceptualization of Scientific Explanation for Science Education. Science Education, 95, pp. 639-669. 

Windschitl, M. Thompson, J., & Braaten, M. (2011) Ambitious Pedagogy by Novice Teachers? Who Benefits From Tool-Supported Collaborative Inquiry into Practice and Why. Teachers College Record. 113(7) , pp.1311-1360.

Windschitl, M. (2009). Cultivating 21st Century Skills in Science Learners: How Systems of Teacher Preparation and Professional Development Will Have to Evolve. Paper commissioned by National Academy of Science’s Committee on The Development of 21st Century Skills. February 5, Washington DC.

Invited addresses

Windschitl, M. (2019) Keynote address: Fostering equitable and productive discourse through explanation, argument, and modeling. Ventura, California, March 14th, 2019.

Windschitl, M. (2017). Productive talk in classrooms. Oregon State University, June 28, 2017.

Windschitl, M. (2016). Keynote Address: Planning for 3-dimensional classroom instruction through the use of anchoring phenomena. California State Science Leadership Conference, Sacramento California.

Windschitl, M. (2016). Keynote Address: Modeling in Elementary and Secondary Classrooms. Northern Illinois Science Teachers Association, November 14th, Naperville Illinois.

Windschitl, M. (2016). High-leverage practices and the preparation of science teachers in the United States. Society of Chemistry and Physics Education in Germany, Zurich Switzerland, September 6, 2016.

Windschitl, M. (2016). Modeling and discourse in the reform classroom. Annual Meeting of National Association of Science Teachers, Nashville, TN, April 1.

Windschitl, M. (2015) Articulating the core of effective teaching: The heresy and promise of high-leverage practices for a nation of novice educators. The Curry School of Education, University of Virginia.

Windschitl, M. (2014). The role of modeling in teacher education. Invited presentation at University of Michigan, TeachingWorks, April 2014.

Windschitl, M. & Thompson, J. (2014). Enriching Research and Innovation Through the Specification of Professional Practice: The Core Practice Consortium. Invited Presidential Session at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Philadelphia, PA, April, 2014.

Windschitl, M. & Berk, Lindsay. (2014). Building a repertoire of literacy support practices in science. Invited presentation the National Academy of Sciences, Committee on Literacy for science in the common core ELA standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. December, 2013.

Windschitl, M. (2013). What’s at the core of ambitious science teaching, and can it be taught to novices? A study of instructional variation among first-year educators. An invited presentation given at Michigan State University, October, 2013.

Windschitl, M. (April, 2013). The Next Generation Science Standards: Preparing a community to learn. Clemson University, Clemson South Carolina.

Windschitl, M. (April, 2012). How will we prepare the next generation of teachers? Vanderbilt University, Nashville TN.

Windschitl, M. (April, 2012). Ambitious teaching and the promise of core practices. The Waterbury Lecture; Penn State University, State College PA.

Windschitl, M. (February 2011). The Beginner’s Repertoire: Ambitious teaching practice by novices. Stanford University, invited address.

Windschitl, M. (June 2011). The role of representations of practice in teacher learning. University of Michigan, invited address.

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