Erin Furtak

Professional Title
Associate Professor
About Me (Bio)
Erin Marie Furtak is Associate Professor of Education specializing in Science Education.

Dr. Furtak's research grew out of her own experiences as a public high school teacher, in which she struggled to enact science teaching reforms in her own classroom. Her work focuses on how to support secondary science teachers in improving their everyday formative assessment practices. With the support of a CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation, Dr. Furtak has been investigating how a long-term professional development program centered on a learning progression for natural selection can support high school teachers in iteratively designing, enacting, and revising formative assessments. More information on her current projects can be found HERE.

Dr. Furtak teaches courses in the CU Teach program (EDUC 4060, Classroom Interactions, and EDUC 5375/5385, Project-Based Instruction), as well as the Teaching and Learning Biology course (MCDB 4811, cross-listed in EDUC) and advanced doctoral courses (e.g. Advances in the Assessment of Student Learning, EDUC 8740).

Dr. Furtak received the 2011 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) and the German Chancellor Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2006). She has published 18 peer-reviewed articles and two books. She conducts extensive service to the teaching profession through long-term research and professional development partnerships with school districts and organizations in Colorado and across the US.

This project is developing a three-year science program for grades 9, 10, and 11. This program presents the core concepts in physical science, life science, earth-space science, and inquiry as articulated in the National Science Education Standards. The program also engages students in integration across the disciplines in relevant, social contexts to address other standards, and provides high school students and teachers nationwide with a coherent alternative to the traditional sequence of biology, chemistry, and physics.