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John W.  Tillotson

John W. Tillotson

Associate Professor,
Science Teaching

112 Heroy Geology Laboratory

Research and Teaching Interests

John W. Tillotson is a dual associate professor of science education at Syracuse University in the Department of Science Teaching in the College of Arts & Sciences and the Teaching and Leadership Program in the School of Education. He is the past-chair of the Department of Science Teaching and currently serves as the director of graduate programs in science education. His research focuses on the influence of preservice teacher education programs on science teachers’ beliefs and practices and science education reform in high-needs rural schools. Dr. Tillotson has received more than $4 million in external grant funding to support his research from the National Science Foundation and New York State Education Department. Dr. Tillotson served as the Executive Director of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) from 2001-2007. In 2006 he was named the Outstanding Science Teacher Educator of the Year by the Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE) He was elected to a three-year term as the president of ASTE (2011-2014). John is married and has four children. In his spare time, he is an active volunteer firefighter and EMT in the rural community where he lives.


Methods & Curriculum in Teaching Science (SCE 413/613)
Nature of Science in Science Education (SCE 614)
Teacher Development in Science (SED 415/615)
Curriculum Problems in Science (SEC 718)
Seminar in Science Education Research (SCE 789)


  • Ph.D. Science Education University of Iowa, 1996
  • M.S. Chemistry University of Iowa, 1995
  • B.S. Secondary Chemistry Education 7-12 SUNY Cortland, 1991

Recent Publications

  • Tillotson, J.W., & Diana, T.J. (in press). A cycle of professional development in science teacher education. In J. Penick & R. Harris (Eds.) Teaching with Purpose. Arlington, VA: NSTA Press.
  • Tillotson, J.W., Ochanji, M.K., & Diana, T. (2004). Reflecting on the game: Action research in science education. In J. Weld (Ed.) The Game of Science Education. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
  • Tillotson, J.W., & Kluth, P. (2003). Auto mechanics in the physics lab: Science education for all. In P. Kluth, D. Straut, & D. Biklen (Eds.). Access to Academics. New Jersey: Lawrence Earlbaum.