ARLINGTON, Va.—June 1, 2021—On June 1, Dr. Eric J. Pyle, a Professor of Geoscience Education at James Madison University (JMU) in Harrisonburg, Virginia, became the 2021-22 President of the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA), the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.
At James Madison University, Pyle works with preservice teachers of science and future geoscience professionals, providing coursework and research opportunities in both science education and Earth and planetary science. He also has extensive experience in teaching field-based science, both in the United States, as well as in Ireland and the United Kingdom. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Earth science from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte in 1983, received a master’s degree in geology from Emory University in 1986, and earned his Ph.D. in science education from the University of Georgia in 1995.
A committed leader in science and STEM education for decades, Pyle has served in leadership roles for the Virginia Association of Science Teachers (VAST); the National Association of Geoscience Teachers; the Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE); the National Earth Science Teachers Association (NESTA); and the Geological Society of America (GSA). Pyle also served as co-director of the JMU Center for STEM Education and Outreach.
“We find ourselves with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to transform science education through an alignment of policy, funding, and a near-universal interest in providing educators with the highest-quality tools to advance their students’ learning experiences,” said Dr. Eric Pyle, NSTA President. “It is both exciting and humbling to serve in a leadership role and work with a strong team at this point in time.”
Pyle has also been an active member of the science education community for many years; he contributed to the Framework for K-12 Science Education as a member of the Earth & Space Science design team and was a primary reviewer for the Next Generation Science Standards. He served as a division director on NSTA’s board of directors and as an NSTA council member and oversaw the development of NSTA’s position statement on teaching climate science and standards for science teacher preparation. He has also published extensively in NSTA journals and has presented numerous times at NSTA national and area conferences.
“This is a pivotal time for education, and especially for science and STEM education, and we are fortunate that Eric will be leading NSTA this next year,” said Dr. Erika Shugart, NSTA Executive Director. “He is a thoughtful leader with great ideas that will continue to advance the mission of the association.”
The National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) is a vibrant community of 40,000 science educators and professionals committed to best practices in teaching science and its impact on student learning. NSTA offers high-quality science resources and continuous learning so that science educators can grow professionally and excel in their careers. For new and experienced teachers alike, the NSTA community offers the opportunity to network with like-minded peers at the national level, connect with mentors and leading researchers, and learn from the best in the field.
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Kate Falk, NSTA
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