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Tufts University


  • Zirbel, Esther

Contact Information

Esther Zirbel

Tufts University
212 College Ave
Medford, MA 02155


My first faculty position was as Visiting Assistant Professor at Haverford College, PA. In addition to pursing Astronomy research, I taught undergraduate courses and supervised some undergraduate students pursuing independent study. This teaching led to my interest in exploring the teaching of science concepts. I was invited to teach as Visiting Assistant Professor at Wellesley College, and was later offered a tenure track appointment at the College of Staten Island of the City University of New York, where many of my students were pre-service teachers. Ensuring that these individuals clearly understood Science concepts became a great interest. The experience led to my curiosity about some of the basic misconceptions which potential future educators had about subjects which they, themselves, would be teaching in Science.

I am currently pursuing this passion in my own classes, as an educator of teachers, in my distance learning, where I aim to provide a model for how technology can be integrated into the classroom, and in my collaborations with colleagues at Tufts University, where I have co-founded ESTEEMS (Ecosystem for Science Teaching, Engineering Education, and Mathematics Scholastics), a network of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and general Education faculty interested in developing cross-disciplinary strategies for more effectively training the future STEM workforce and future teachers.

Currently, I am Associate Research Professor at Tufts University, where I teach Liberal Arts students, Science majors, and in-service teachers – the latter which is through the Fulcrum Institute of Science Education at Tufts. I am now seeking further opportunities to guide the education of teachers, to train STEM students in Pedagogy, and to organize workshops for college faculty on alternate teaching methods.