Valerie Otero

Professional Title
Associate Professor
About Me (Bio)
Valerie Otero is an associate professor of science education and is involved in several large projects throughout the University of Colorado, Boulder and throughout the United States. She is the director of the Colorado Learning Assistant Program, the Colorado Noyce Fellowship program, and the CU-Teach program. Prof. Otero has been involved with the Physics Education Research (PER) community since 1995, when she began her doctoral work in PER. Prof. Otero has served on the Physics Education Research Leadership Organizing Council, on the Research in Physics Education committee for the American Association of Physics Teachers and she currently serves on the National Task Force for Teacher Education in Physics. Her research spans from studies of physics teacher knowledge to studies of how both majors and non-majors learn various concepts in physics and the nature of science. Prof. Otero has published broadly from Science magazine to Science and Children magazine. She is co-author of the popular Physics and Everyday Thinking curriculum, used in physics departments throughout the United States. She has been invited to give hundreds of talks about physics education and physics teacher education throughout the United States and in Italy, Saudi Arabia, and Korea. Prof. Otero is principal investigator on over $14 million in grants to improve mathematic and science education. As a first generation college student from a Hispanic grocery store family, Prof. Otero is committed to increasing access and opportunities for students of all ages to get the most out of their science education.
University of Colorado Boulder

The Colorado Learning Assistant (LA) model, recognized nationally as a hallmark teacher recruitment and preparation program, has run a national workshop annually for four years to disseminate and scale the program. This project expands the existing annual workshop to address changing needs of participants and to prepare eight additional faculty members to lead new regional workshops.

University of Colorado Boulder

This project is testing the effectiveness of the 'Learning Assistant Model' for recruiting, preparing, and retaining STEM K-12 teachers by developing a suite of survey instruments that can be used by researchers interested in testing the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs, course transformations, or conceptual or pedagogical knowledge. It focuses on teacher certification programs,K-12 contexts and students' experiences in STEM departments and the role of STEM research faculty in preparing future teachers.