Nirit Glazer

I have recently earned my Ph.D. in Educational Studies from the University of Michigan. I started my research journey in a master program at the Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel) during which time I explored student understanding of a central concept in chemistry at the high-school level. My research experience at Weizmann Institute sparked my interest in how students learn, prompting me to enter the Ph.D. program at the University of Michigan. While at the University of Michigan, I became further interested in student learning and improving science teaching practice at the college level as well.

Research Interests

What ties all of my research together is the emphasis on student learning and improving teaching practice. I have approached these two issues from different perspectives. My master and doctoral work delved into student learning. At the college level my research has examined students' perception of learning and implications for promoting fairness and equality in an attempt to improve instructions.

My future goal is to continue these combined interests and do so with a more narrow focus on a few key areas among others. First, I am interested in developing programs to better support the teachers and connecting classroom teachers with academia research. Second, I would like to work on increasing use of instructional technology. Specifically in this regard, I would like to find ways to implement technology that is easy to learn and use, thus leading to more creative thinking in the classroom. Third, I would also like to delve more into the usefulness and effectiveness of assessment, and as a result, the effectiveness of teaching and learning. Finally, I am interested in improving graduate student training. As a result of my experience with training and mentoring new TAs, I strongly believe that graduate programs should better prepare future faculty for their teaching responsibilities. Most college-level instructors proceed directly from their graduate program to the classroom with little pedagogical training along the way, and very often, new faculty are expected to learn how to become a teacher on the fly.

Current Teaching

I teach General Chemistry courses (Chem 117/118) and Chemistry for Elementary Teachers (Chem 101) at the Department of Chemistry at Eastern Michigan University

My dissertation

Ph.D. Educational Studies, School of Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Dissertation: The Use of Construct Maps in Understanding 7th Grade Students Learning of Chemical Reaction
Doctoral Committee: Professor Joseph S. Krajcik (Chair), Professor Brian P. Coppola (Cognate), Associate Professor Elizabeth A. Davis, Professor Avi Hofstein

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<Abstract: My doctorate dissertation examines how students' understandings of early concepts relate to their understanding of later concepts and investigated the understanding of separate sub-ideas in relationship to their contribution to the understanding of a big idea (chemical reaction).  The study characterizes 7th grade students' learning of chemical reaction, which is a core idea in scientific literacy, as they participate in a coherent curriculum. The study explores the prior knowledge, new knowledge, challenges, and development of the students' understanding of chemical reactions. In this study, I developed construct maps (a graphical representation of a consecutive continuum of the understanding of a specific construct) to guide the development and analysis of assessment items aimed at finding evidence for learning utilizing both quantitative and qualitative data from sources collected before, during and after instruction.


Glazer, N. (2011). Challenges with Graph Interpretation - A Review of the Literature. Studies in Science Education, 47(2), 183-210.
Glazer, N. (2011). Closing Disparities in Students' Prior Knowledge of Graphing and Catalyzing Teamwork in an Introductory College Level Course. Conference Proceedings for the 11th Annual Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching and Learning - T.C., September 22-25, 2011, Traverse City.
Glazer, N. (2011). The Use of Students' Perceptions of Their Own Collaboration in a Student-Centered Discussion to Inform Instruction and Encourage Team Work.  Conference Proceedings for the 31st Annual International Lilly Conference on College Teaching, November 18-20, Oxford, OH. 

Recent Presentations