Clinical Professor, STEM Education/Science
Kristin Rearden is a clinical professor of science education at the University of Tennessee. Her father’s work as a chemist for Texaco and her mother’s long span of teaching junior high English were both inspirations for her to pursue a career in science education. Rearden earned a BA in physics from the University of Dallas and taught middle school math and science in Poughkeepsie, New York, from 1989–1994. During that time, she earned her master’s degree in educational psychology from Marist College and her permanent New York State teaching licenses in secondary math, physics, and general science.
Rearden joined the UT faculty as an assistant professor in science education in 1999 after earning a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Texas A&M University the previous year. While at Texas A&M, she was a graduate research assistant for the Salish I Research Project, a ten-university research study led by Dr. Robert Yager. Her interest in the integration of literacy and science has led to serving two terms on the National Science Teachers Association's Outstanding Science Trade Book Committee as well as NSTA's Best STEM Book Committee. She teaches graduate science education courses and preservice teacher preparation courses, and leads the cohort of interns specializing in middle grades math and science. Her teaching accolades include the UT Alumni Association's Outstanding Teacher Award, the TPTE Teaching Award, and the Tennessee Science Teachers Association Science Educator of the Year in Higher Education. In addition to journal articles, book chapters, and book reviews, she is the co-author with Dr. Colleen Gilrane of What counts as a good job in teaching? Becoming a teacher as we race to the top (Rowan & Littlefield, 2015)