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Curriculum, Teaching  & Learning
Erminia Pedretti

Erminia Pedretti

phone: (416) 978-0080

Curriculum, Teaching and Learning

Centre for Science, Mathematics and Technology Education

Research Overview

Dr. Erminia Pedretti is Professor of Science Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) of the University of Toronto. She is the former Director of the Centre for Studies in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education located in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at OISE. Dr. Pedretti teaches in both pre-service teacher education and graduate programs, offering courses in environmental education, teaching and learning about science, technology, society and environment (STSE), and science education in school and non-school settings. At the heart of her research agenda, is a commitment to scientific literacy - in its broadest sense - as a guiding principle for science education. Her research interests include: STSE education, environmental and outdoor education, action research, teacher professional development and learning science in formal and informal settings such as museums, science centres, and zoos.

She is currently conducting research in the area of public engagement with science and technology issues through controversial exhibitions at museums in Canada and abroad through a SSHRC grant. She recently published two teacher education textbooks for primary/junior and intermediate/senior science methods curriculum and instruction courses. The books are distinctly Canadian drawing on Canadian policies, curriculum and scholarship with a commitment to nature of science, social justice and environmental education. Over the years she has received numerous grants to support her research and graduate students. She has published over 45 articles, 17 book chapters, and 5 books.

Curriculum Vitae

Academic History

Ph.D. OISE, University of Toronto, Curriculum, 1994
M.Ed. Queen's University, Curriculum, 1992
B.Ed. Queen's University, Science Education, 1988
B.Sc. University of Toronto, Faculty of Arts and Science, 1987

Teaching Overview

Dr. Pedretti has taught the following Graduate Courses:

CTL 1207F: Teaching and Learning about Science: Issues and Strategies in Science, Technology, Society and Environment (STSE)
CTL 1799: Environmental Studies in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education
CTL 1215H: Teaching and Learning about Science and Technology Beyond Schools.

and the following B.Ed. Courses:
EDU 1300: Secondary Science General Curriculum and Instruction Methods

Representative Publications

Books (Total)

Pedretti, E., & Bellomo, K. (2015). Explorations in secondary school science:  Practice and theory. Pearson Publishers.

Pedretti, E., Bellomo, K., & Jagger, S. (2015). Explorations in elementary school science:  Practice and theory. Pearson Publishers.

Pedretti, E., & Little, C. (2008). From engagement to empowerment: Reflections in science education. Toronto: Pearson Education. .

Alsop, S., Bencze, L., & Pedretti, E. (Eds.) (2005). Analyzing exemplary science teaching; Theoretical lenses and a spectrum of possibilities for practice. London: Open University Press.

Hodson, D., Bencze, L., Nyhof-Young, J. & Pedretti, E. (Eds.) (2002). Changing science education through action research: Some experiences from the field. Toronto: Imperial Oil Centre for Studies in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, OISE, in association with University of Toronto Press.

Book Chapters (total of 17)

Pedretti, E., Navas, A., (in press).  Pregnant pauses: Science museums, schools and a controversial exhibition. Invited chapter. In R. Gunstone, D. Corrigan, & A. Jones, Bridging informal and formal science education.).

Nazir, J., & Pedretti, E. (in press).Environmental Education as/for Environmental Consciousness Raising: Insights from an Ontario Outdoor Education Centre” In G. Reiss and J. Scott (Eds.). International Perspectives on the Theory and Practice of Environmental Education: A Reader.  Springer.

Pedretti, E., (2012).  The medium is the message: Unraveling visitors’ experiences of Body Worlds and the Story of the Heart. In E. Davidsson and Anders Davidsson (Eds). Understanding interactions at science centers and museums – A sociocultural perspective (pp. 45-62). The Netherlands: Sense Publishers. (Invited book chapter).

Articles in Refereed Journals (sample from a total of 45)

Nazir, J., & Pedretti, E. (2015). Bringing students to environmental consciousness through engaging outdoor experiences. Environmental Education Researcher. 1-17. DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2014.996208

Pedretti, E. & Dubek, M. (2015). Critical issues-based exhibitions. In R. Gunstone (Ed.). Encyclopedia of science education (pp. 236-238). Dortrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

Pedretti, E. & Nazir, J. (2015). Science, technology and society (STS). In R. Gunstone (Ed.). Encyclopedia of science education (pp. 932-935). Dortrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

Pedretti, E. (2014).  Environmental education and science education:  Ideology, hegemony, traditional knowledge and alignment.  Brazilian Journal of Research in Science Teaching. 14(2), 305-314.

Pedretti, E., & Nazir, J.  (2014). Tensions and opportunities: A baseline study of teachers’ views of environmental education. International Journal of Environmental and Science Education. 9, 265-283.

Nazir, J., & Pedretti, E. (2014).  Off the beaten path:  The work of an Ontario Outdoor Education Centre in relation to environmental education. Pathways: The Ontario Journal of Outdoor Education, 26(2), 4-12.

Pedretti, E., & Bellomo, K. (2013).  A time for change: Advocating for STSE education through professional learning communities. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education. 13(4), 415-437.

Virginie, A., & Pedretti, E. (2013).  Courting controversy: Socioscientific issues and school science and technology: Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education. 13(4), 303-312.

Blum,  N., Nazir,  J., Breiting, S., Chuan Goh, K., & Pedretti, E. (2013). Balancing the tensions and meeting the conceptual challenges of education, sustainable development and climate change. Environmental Education Research. 19(2), 206-217.

Pedretti, E., Nazir, J., Tan, M., Bellomo, K., & Ayyavoo, G. (2012). A baseline study of Ontario teachers’ views of environmental and outdoor education. Pathways: The Ontario Journal of Outdoor Education. 24(2), 4-12.

Jagger, S., Dubek, M., & Pedretti, E. (2012). “It’s a personal thing”:  Visitors’ responses to Body Worlds.  Museum Management and Curatorship. 27(4), 357-374.

Pedretti, E., & Nazir, J.  (2011).  Currents in STSE education: Mapping a complex field, 40 years on.  Science Education, 95(4), 601-626.

Tan, M., & Pedretti, E. (2010). Negotiating the complexities of environmental education: A study of Ontario teachers. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education. 10(1), 61-78.

Pedretti, E. (2004). Perspectives on learning through research on critical issues-based science centre exhibitions. Science Education, 88(1), S34-S47.

Research Grants and Contracts

The following are a few of the grants received over the years:

Year: 2015-2019
Source: Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
Role: PI
Title: Engaging the Public with Controversial Issues through Science Centres and Museums
Awarded: $176,000

Year: 2009
Source: OISE
Role: SMT Director
Title: Centre for Science, Mathematics and Technology Education
Amount: $: 100,000

Year: 2008-09
Source: Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) - Community-University-Research Alliance (CURA)
Role: Principal Investigator
Title: Partnerships for Excellence in Environmental Education Project
Awarded: $: 18,500

Source: Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Standard Grant
Role: Principal Investigator
Title: Promoting teaching for scientific literacy through university-school district collaboration
Awarded $: 118,000

Year: 2004-06
Source: Scientists in School
Role: Principal Investigator
Title: Impact study: Enhancing student learning and teacher professional development in science and technology
Awarded $: 37,000

Honours and Awards

Honorary President of the Science Teachers' Association of Ontario (STAO) (2004-2006)
Ontario Graduate Scholarship (1993)
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowship (1992-1994)

Professional Activities

Keynote and Invited Addresses:

Pedretti, E. (2013, August). Courting controversy: Body worlds Exhibition and the visitor experience. Invited keynote address presented at the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Science and Technology (CIMUSET). Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Pedretti, E. (2009, November). From curiousity cabinets to critical issues-based exhibitions: New directions in science centres. Invited address presented at the VII ENPAC conference and the Brazilian Association of Science Education Research on Science, Culture and Citizenship. Florianopolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil.

Pedretti, E., (2006, October). Science, technology, society and the environment: Education for the new millennium. Invited Keynote Public Lecture for the Royal Canadian Institute for the Advancement of Science, Toronto, Ontario.

Pedretti, E. (2006, March). Learning about science through science centre exhibitions. Invited Keynote address to the International Science Museum and Science Teaching and Learning Conference, Taiwan National Science Centre and National Kaohsiung Normal University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.