Larry Flick

Professor and Dean Emeritus
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PhD, Science Education, Indiana University
MA, Teaching, Northwestern University
BS, Electrical Engineering, Purdue University
Curriculum Vitae: 

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College of Education
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Research Interests: 

My research interests include how people in general and students in particular use science and mathematics in everyday life and how this use can support learning.  Most recently, this work has included the role of computers, computer modeling, and computational thinking, for example interpreting TV weather reports.  I have recently examined how the built environments, in which we live, work, go to school, and spend free time, can be a meaningful context for thinking about selected science and engineering concepts.  This work has led to focusing on how STEM concepts get used in the skilled trades and in career technical education classes.  Projects have included classroom interventions that involve math teachers communicate concepts to CTE classes and CTE teachers communicate meaningful applications to math classes. I am interested in how the role of context establishes purpose for learning and how context communicates the kinds of cognitive and social resources afforded by the setting.  These interests are coupled with studying teaching practices that influence the norms of the classroom and in so doing create contexts for learning that are more immediate and meaningful to students.  Teaching practices of interest are where teachers attend to student thinking, orient students to each other in structured discussion of big scientific and mathematical ideas, and position students for equal access to worthwhile tasks and classroom discourse.

Beyond OSU
Personal Interests: 

Personal Interests: 

Playing basketball, photography, hiking, biking, travel, observing wildlife, reading, refinishing furniture, walking the beach on the Oregon coast, exploring small towns, looking at the sky, flying a remote control glider, conversation,...


After teaching at the elementary and middle school levels for 12 years, I earned a Ph.D. in Science Education from Indiana University. I have a B.S. in electrical engineering from Purdue University, an M.A.T. from Northwestern. I am Professor of Science Education and dean of the College of Education. I have been a board member for the Council for Elementary Science International, National Science Teachers Association, and the Association for the Education of Teachers in Science. I have also served on the editorial board of Journal for Research in Science Teaching, the Journal for Science Teacher Education, and a co-editor editor for the journal School Science and Mathematics.  While in engineering I worked as supervising engineering for Illinois Bell Telephone in Chicago.  I was involved in implementing T1 Carrier pulse code modulation systems connecting large switching centers in the inner city.

Selected Publications

Brown, S., Street, D., Barker, F. & Flick, L. (2013). Motivational factors influencing in-class peer tutors in engineering: A functional approach, International Journal of Engineering Education 29(1), 1–13.

Bledsoe, K. E. and L. Flick (2012). "Concept Development and Meaningful Learning Among Electrical Engineering Students Engaged in a Problem-Based Laboratory Experience." Journal of Science Education and Technology 21(2): 226-245.  Available online

Flick, L. B., Sadri, P., Morrell, P. D., Wainwright, C., Schepige, A. (April 2009). Analysis of university teaching in science and mathematics undergraduate courses. School Science and Mathematics 109 (4), 197-211.

Brown, S., Flick, L., & Fiez, T. (January, 2009). An investigation of the presence and development of social capital in an electrical engineering laboratory, Journal of Engineering Education, 98 (1), 93-102.

Monographs and Essays

Flick, L. B. (2009). An investigation of the presence and development of social capital in an electrical engineering laboratory, Annals of Research on Engineering Education,

Flick, L. B. & Lederman, N. G. (2004). Scientific Inquiry and Nature of Science: Implications Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Selected grants

Co-PI with Rebekah Elliott, Algebra in Context. ESEA Title IIB Mathematics Science Partnership 2008-2011.

PI Science & Engineering in the Lives of Students.  NSF ATE Program 2008-2011.

PI Collaborative Research: In-Class Peer Tutoring: A Model for Engineering Instruction.  NSF IEECI January 2009-January 2010, with Washington State University and OSU Engineering.

Selected Presentations

Melendy, R., Flick, L. B., & Rowe, S. (2011). Collegiate students’ epistemologies of the role of models in precalculus mathematics: A focus on the exponential and the logarithmic functions. Paper presented at the meeting of National Association for Research in Science Teaching, Orlando, FL, April 3-6.

Elliott, R. L. & Flick, L. B. (2011). Innovating mathematics and career & technical education projects in detracked algebra through teacher collaborations. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA, April 8-12.

Flick, L. B. & DeChenne, S. E. (2011). The engineered environment versus the natural environment as a context for teaching science in the lives of students. International Conference of the Association of Science Teacher Education. Retrieved from

Flick, L. B. & DeChenne, S. E. (2010). Teachers understanding of context in teaching thermodynamics with a construction context. Paper presented at the P-12 Engineering and Design Education Research Summit, Seaside, OR, August 11-13.

Invited and Keynote Presentations

Rethinking Mathematics and Science Education in High School. STEM Education Conference Engineering Education, University of Minnesota, August 15-17, 2011.

Teaching Students to Talk Science. Ewah Women’s University, Seoul, Korea, January 26, 2010.

Cognitive Consequences of Changes in Contexts for Learning. Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, January 28, 2010.

Do Students Understand Sophisticated Learning Environments Generated by Research-Based Instruction? Presented at the Korean Association for Science Education, Seoul, Korea, January 28 – 30.