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Alan Colburn

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Office: HSCI-216
Office Hours: TuTh 12-1.  I am available by e-mail, though. Please feel free to contact me.
Telephone: 562 985 5948

I am a Professor of Science Education. Before coming to CSULB in 1995 I taught in the Science Education Center at the University of Iowa–where I received my Ph.D. (in Science Education) in 1991. I also have a master’s degree in Biology, taught high school Chemistry in Haverford, PA, and briefly taught Physical Science in Iowa City.

I have taught a variety of courses at CSULB, but mostly SCED 401, 550, and (until recently) 404. SCED 401 is a science class for prospective elementary teachers. SCED 550 is the first class new graduate students take. SCED 404 is about the nature of science and scientific reasoning. I also work with graduate students and supervise student teachers. I am a recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award.

Beside these duties I am graduate adviser to our master’s degree program, serve on various university committees, and review articles for professional journals.

My research interests include inquiry-based science teaching, misconceptions, the nature of science, and issues related to evolution, creationism, science & religion. I’ve written articles and given professional presentations and workshops. I wrote  The Lingo of Learning: 88 terms every science teacher should know, which explains educational “jargon” in plain English and provides fairly brief introductions to common teaching-related ideas. I also wrote the monthly  Prepared Practitioner column in The Science Teacher from 2007-2010.

In 2016 I wrote Learning Science by Doing Science: 10 classic activities reimagined to show what science is & how science works. It was influenced by my experiences teaching SCED 401, published in January, 2017.

I’m dedicated to helping students have great experiencse with the classes they take from me. You can always reach me by email,