College of Education and Human Development

Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Gillian Roehrig

  • Pronouns: she, her, hers

  • Professor

  • Office Hours

    by appointment

Gillian Roehrig

Areas of interest



Science Teacher Development

My research and teaching interests are centered on understanding how teachers translate national and state standards into their classrooms. Of particular interest is how teachers, from preservice through induction and into the in-service years, implement inquiry-based teaching and how different induction and professional development programs can influence teachers’ knowledge, beliefs, and classroom practices.

One outcome of this work has been the development of an online induction program for secondary science teachers, the Teacher Induction Network (TIN). TIN was developed through a National Science Foundation Noyce grant and was recognized as a Promising Practice by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities in 2012. This work is now funded by an NSF Noyce Track 4 grant - A Study on Promoting Reflective and Equitable Practice Through Science Teacher Induction.

Sample Dissertations:

Ellis, J., Polizzi, S., Roehrig, G., & Rushton, G. (2017). Teachers as leaders: The impact of teacher leadership supports for beginning teachers in an online induction program. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 25(3), 245-272

Ellis, J., McFadden, J., Anwar, T., & Roehrig, G. (2015). Investigating the Social Interactions of Beginning Teachers Using a Video Annotation Tool. Contemporary Issues in Technology & Teacher Education, 15(3). Retrieved from 

McFadden, J., Ellis, J., Anwar, T., & Roehrig, G.H. (2014). Beginning Science Teachers’ Use of a Digital Video Annotation Tool to Promote Reflective Practices. Journal of Science Education and Technology 23(3), 458-470. 

STEM Integration

National policy documents call for the need to increase the number of students entering STEM fields have created an urgent call for improving science education through new educational approaches that focus on the hands-on, interdisciplinary, and socially relevant aspects of STEM, specifically highlighting the role of engineering. However, there is no common understanding on the nature of STEM education as an integrated or multidisciplinary endeavor. One of the biggest educational challenges for K-12 STEM education is that few general guidelines or models exist for using STEM integration approaches. My work in this area has focused on understanding teachers’ perceptions of STEM integration and professional development models to assist teachers in implementing new STEM standards.

This work is supported by an $8 million NSF Mathematics and Science Partnership grant, EngrTEAMS: Engineering to Transform the Education of Analysis, Measurement, and Science. In addition, funding from the Cargill Foundation supports the exploration of inclusive STEM Middle Schools in Minneapolis Public Schools. Given the international focus on STEM Education, I also collaborate with researchers and graduate students interested in integrated STEM and STEM schools in Japan, South Korea, and Egypt.

Sample Dissertations:

Elizabeth Ring (2017). Teacher Conceptions of Integrated STEM Education and How They Are Reflected in Integrated STEM Curriculum Writing and Classroom Implementation (currently faculty at St. Catherine University).

Emily Dare (2015). Understanding Middle School Students' Perceptions of Physics Using Girl-Friendly and Integrated STEM Strategies: A Gender Study (currently faculty at Michigan Tech).

Constantine, A., Rozowa, P., Szostkowski, A., Ellis, J.  & Roehrig, G. (2017) The “T” in STEM: How Elementary Science Teachers’ Beliefs of Technology Integration Translate to Practice During a Co-Developed STEM Unit, Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 36(4), 339-349.

Ring, E. A., Dare, E. A. , Crotty, E. A. , & Roehrig, G. H. (2017). The Evolution of Teacher Conceptions of STEM Education Throughout an Intensive Professional Development Experience. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 28(5), 444-467.

STEM Education in Native Communities

Of particular interest is how culturally-relevant STEM integration approaches to teaching and learning can improve educational outcomes for American Indian youth. Three grant-funded projects developed in partnership with reservation schools in northwestern Minnesota have guided this work:

Reach for the Sky: Integrating Technology into STEM outcomes for American Indian Youth (RFTS), a partnership with schools on the White Earth Indian Reservation providing informal STEM learning experiences for American Indian youth, funded by an NSF-ITEST grant. 

Ah neen dush, funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, was designed to support and mentor Head Start teachers on the White Earth Indian Reservation as they created engaging learning environments, that integrated inquiry-based science and mathematics activities with Ojibwe philosophy and tradition. 

CYCLES, funded by NASA, provided professional development for reservation teachers to support the implementation of culturally-relevant approaches to climate change education in Minnesota.

Sample dissertations:

Brant Miller (2010). Snow snakes as a means to science agency: Empowering American Indian students through a culturally relevant STEM curriculum (currently faculty at University of Idaho). 

Devarati Bhattacharya (2015). Conceptualizing In-service Secondary School Teachers' Knowledge Base for Promoting Understanding about the Science of Global Climate Change (currently a post-doc at University of Nebrasks). 

Chemistry Education

As a former high school and college chemistry instructor, I continue to be interested in chemistry education. My work in chemistry education has focused on students’ understanding of the particulate nature of matter, with a specific focus on students’ particulate-level understanding of bonding through the use of a particulate drawing assessment tool.

Sample Dissertations:
Abdi Warfa (2013). Student Conceptions of Ionic Compounds in Solution and the Influences of Sociochemical Norms on Individual Learning (currently faculty at the University of Minnesota).

Warfa, A., Roehrig, G., Schneider, J., & Nyachwaya, J. (2014). The Role of Teacher-Initiated Discourses in Students’ Development of Representational Fluency in Chemistry. Journal of Chemical Education, 91(6), 784–792.


  • Council of Graduate Students Outstanding Faculty Award, University of Minnesota, April 2010 
  • CEHD Marty and Jack Rossman Award, University of Minnesota, April 2014 
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award, University of Arizona, May 2002 
  • Association for Science Teacher Education Award IV, Innovations in Teaching Science Teachers, 2014 
  • Outstanding Mentor Award, Association for Science Teacher Education,  2013 
  • Promising Practice Award, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, May 2012

Ellis, J., McFadden, J., Anwar, T. & Roehrig, G. (in press). Investigating the Social Interactions of Beginning Teachers Using a Video Annotation Tool. Contemporary Issues in Technology & Teacher Education.

Warfa, A., Roehrig, G., Schneider, J., & Nyachwaya, J. (2014). The Role of Teacher-Initiated Discourses in Students’ Development of Representational Fluency in Chemistry. Journal of Chemical Education, 91(6), 784–792.

McFadden, J., Ellis, J., Anwar, T. & Roehrig, G.H. (2014). Beginning Science Teachers’ Use of a Digital Video Annotation Tool to Promote Reflective Practices. Journal of Science Education and Technology 23(3), 458-470.

Dare, E., Ellis, J., & Roehrig, G.H. (2014). Driven by Beliefs: Understanding Challenges Physical Science Teachers Face When Integrating Engineering and Physics. Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research, 4(2), 1-13.

Guzey, S., Tank, K., Wang, H-H., Roehrig, G., and Moore, T. (2014). A High-Quality Professional Development for Teachers of Grades 3-6 for Implementing Engineering into Classrooms. School Science and Mathematics, 114(3), 139-149.

Nam, Y., Roehrig, G. H., Kern, A. L., & Reynolds, B. (2013). Perceptions and Practices of Culturally Relevant Science Teaching in American Indian Classrooms. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 11(1), 143-167.

Miller, B. G., Doering, A., Roehrig, G.H., & Shimek, R. (2012). Fostering Indigenous STEM Education: Mobilizing the Adventure Learning Framework through Snow Snakes. Journal of American Indian Education. 51(2), 66-84.

Roehrig, G.H., Campbell, K.M., Dalbotten, D. & Varma, K. (2012). CYCLES: A Culturally-relevant Approach to Climate Change Education in Native Communities. Journal of Curriculum and Instruction. 6, 73-89

Roehrig, G.H., Moore, T.J., Wang, H.-H., & Park, M.S. (2012). Is adding the E enough?: Investigating the impact of K-12 engineering standards on the implementation of STEM integration. School Science and Mathematics, 112, 31-44.

Roehrig, G.H, Dubosarsky, M., Mason, A., Carlson, S., & Murphy, B. (2011). We Look More, Listen More, Notice More: Impact of Sustained Professional Development on Head Start Teachers’ Inquiry-Based and Culturally-Relevant Science Teaching Practices. Journal of Science Education and Technology.20(5), 566–578.

Nyachwaya, J., Mohamed, A.R, Roehrig, G.H., Wood, N., Kern, A.L., & Schneider, J. (2011). The Development of an Open-ended Drawing Tool: An Alternative Diagnostic Tool for Assessing Students’ Understanding of the Particulate Nature of Matter. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 11, 165-172

Kern, A. L, Wood, N., Roehrig, G. H., & Nyachwaya, J. (2010). A Qualitative Report of the Ways High School Chemistry Students Attempt to Represent a Chemical Reaction at the Atomic/Molecular Level. Chemistry Education: Research and Practice,11, 165-172.

Roehrig, G. H., & Garrow, S. T. (2007). The impact of teacher classroom practices on student achievement during the implementation of a reform-based chemistry curriculum International Journal of Science Education, 29, 1789–181.

Roehrig, G. H., Kruse, R. A., & Kern, A. L. (2007). Teacher and school characteristics and their influence on curriculum implementation. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 44, 883-907.

Luft, J. A. & Roehrig, G. H. (2007). Capturing Science Teachers’ Epistemological Beliefs: The Development of the Teacher Beliefs Interview. Electronic Journal of Science Education, 11(2), 38-63.

Roehrig, G. H., & Luft, J. A. (2006) Does One Size Fit All?: The Induction Experience of Beginning Science Teachers from Different Teacher Preparation Programs. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 43(9), 963-985.

Roehrig, G. H. and Kruse, R. A. (2005). “The Role of Teachers’ Beliefs and Knowledge in the Adoption of a Reform-Based Curriculum” School Science and Mathematics, 105, 412-422.

Roehrig, G. H., & Luft, J. A. (2004). Constraints Experienced by Beginning Secondary Science Teachers in Implementing Scientific Inquiry Lessons. International Journal of Science Education, 23, 3-24.

Luft, J. A., Roehrig, G. H., & Patterson, N. C. (2003) Contrasting landscapes: A comparison of the impact of different induction programs on beginning secondary science teachers’ practices and beliefs. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 40, 77-97.