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In Memoriam

Remembering Norman G. Lederman

By Debra Shapiro

Posted on 2021-03-03

Norm LedermanNSTA mourns the loss of Norman Lederman PhD, 69, who passed away on February 26 in Rhode Island after a brief, unexpected illness. Lederman was Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Science Education at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and was internationally known for his research and scholarship on the development of students’ and teachers’ conceptions of the nature of science and scientific inquiry. He also researched preservice and inservice teachers’ knowledge structures of subject matter and pedagogy, pedagogical content knowledge, and teachers’ concerns and beliefs. 

Lederman served as NSTA’s director of teacher education (1996–1998) and authored or co-authored numerous NSTA Press books and book chapters and articles for NSTA’s journals, as well as authoring, co-authoring, and editing books and articles for a range of science education publications and organizations. He is well known for co-editing the first two volumes of the Handbook of Research on Science Education and serving as co-editor of the Journal of Science Teacher Education and editor of School Science and Mathematics. 

Lederman served as president of two NSTA Affiliates: the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) and the Association for the Education of Teachers in Science (AETS; now ASTE, the Association for Science Teacher Education). He received many awards for his work, including the 2011 NARST Distinguished Contributions to Science Education Through Research Award, and was named a fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Education Research Association for his contributions to science education. In addition, he made more than 1,000 presentations at professional conferences and meetings regionally, nationally, and worldwide. In 2017, NSTA recognized Lederman with its Distinguished Service to Science Education Award.

Lederman mentored hundreds of science students, preservice and inservice science teachers, and graduate students in science education. He taught a full range of graduate (masters and doctoral) courses in secondary science education. Before his more than 30 years in science teacher education, Lederman taught high school and college biology and chemistry in Illinois and New York for 10 years.

Lederman is survived by his wife, Judy Lederman, and his stepchildren, Abigail Bernier and Ben Sweeney.

General Science News Pre-service Teachers

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