Giamellaro began his career as a biologist in Wyoming with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service where he found a passion for outreach, education, and engaging students in science. This led to a new career in science teaching that took him to Colorado and New York City where he began working with integrated and experiential curriculum approaches. In his current position Mike is happy to be combining his passions for teaching and research in Central Oregon. Everyday feels like a team effort involving students, pre-service teachers, practicing teachers, administrators, faculty peers, and community members, all working to better understand and implement STEM teaching and learning throughout the region, state, and World.
My research investigates the role of contextualization in science learning, or how learners make associations between targeted science content knowledge and the social, cultural, and physical aspects of their learning environment. My work stems from the theoretical assumptions that learning is situated within and inseparable from the learning environment. I am particularly interested in understanding science learning in environments where the learning context is authentically linked to the content to be learned, such as field experiences or cases where students conduct inquiry in conjunction with practicing scientists. The goal of this work is to help science teachers to improve these experiential pedagogies by more effectively leveraging the experiences to enhance learning and contextualization of science content.
I particularly enjoy bringing these ideas into my teaching in the OSU-Cascades Master’s of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program. Through the three-course science methods sequence we explore Ambitious Science Teaching, a method the teaches K-12 students to do the cognitive work of using their own contextualized experiences to make sense of science phenomena.
Through my current NSF-funded project, our team is developing a new mixed-methods approach to conducting systematic reviews. We use bibliometric network analysis, AI, and qualitative analysis to map the intellectual foundations and the research front of an academic field. The project will result in a review of research in contextualized science learning. I am also engaged in research through the UFERN network, an NSF-Funded effort to rethink and revise approaches to equitable undergraduate field science experiences. My current publications are regularly posted on Research Gate.
Past work included research into the design and evaluation of instructionally-sensitive science assessments, working with high school students to capture video approximations of their lived experiences in field learning settings, exploring teacher-scientist partnerships to better understand the social aspect of contextualization, and measuring the outcomes of implementing district-wide STEM reform at a local school district.