Professor Emeritus, Codirector of the IDEA Institute
Joseph S. Krajcik, PhD, retired from active faculty status on August 31, 2011.
Krajcik received his BA and MS degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1973 and 1983, respectively, and his PhD degree from the University of Iowa in 1986. From 1977 until 1983, Krajcik was a high school science teacher in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He then served as an instructor at the University of Iowa (1983-86) and assistant professor at the University of Maryland (1986-89). He joined the University of Michigan faculty as an assistant professor in 1990, and was promoted to associate professor in 1993, and professor in 1998. He served as associate dean for research in the School of Education from 2006 to 2010. Krajcik was appointed codirector of the IDEA Institute, a collaborative effort between the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and the School of Education, in 2007.
Krajcik worked with science teachers and in science classrooms to improve the way students learn important science concepts and practices by creating learning environments in which students find solutions to important intellectual questions, explore phenomena, collaborate with each other, and use learning tools. Krajcik examined the depth of student understanding that develops in these environments and explored and found solutions to challenges that teachers face in carrying out such complex instruction. In collaboration with colleagues from Northwestern University, Michigan State University, Columbia University, and others, Krajcik, was a principle investigator in a materials development project, IQWST, funded by the National Science Foundation, that aimed to design, develop, and test the next generation of middle school curriculum materials to engage students in obtaining deep understandings of science content and scientific practices.