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Career Highlights: Foreign Conference Presentations

Mexico, 1991

I should have taken Spanish!

City Hall in Merida, Mexico

City Hall in Merida, Mexico

In my first professional presentation outside the United States I traveled to Merida, Mexico to share my assessment of the impact the Chernobyl nuclear accident had on the attitudes of American high school students toward the use of nuclear energy.

Moscow, Russia, 1991

St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow

St. Basil's Cathedral

NSTA US/USSR Conference

Along with 500 other American science teachers I participated in this first joint conference sponsored by the National Science Teachers Association. I presented a paper on how physical science concepts are taught in American elementary schools.

Puerto Rico, 1992

El Moro Fortress in San Juan Puerto Rico

El Moro Fortress in San Juan Puerto Rico

International Consultation on Research in Science and Mathematics Education

Dr. Jere Holman and I presented a report of our work with teachers in a summer internship and in-service program conducted by the Rochester City Schools and the Kodak Company



History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science Teaching

Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada

At this conference, held at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, I presented a critique of the abuse of the concept of scientific literacy with a lively participation by the members of the international audience.

Chile, 1994

City square in Concepcion, Chile

City square in Concepcion, Chile

ICRSME in Chile

In spite of the failure of my luggage, including all of the copies of my paper, to get through Chilean customs, I shared the results of surveys of high school and college students questioning the premise that people with more science education are more critical or rational thinkers that similarly educated people in non-science fields.

Belize, 1996


Co-presenters to the rescue

Diving in Belize

This presentation, planned with colleagues Joby Copenhaver and Sandra Miller, became a true test of collaboration when an accident prevented me from participating in the conference. In January 1997, my family and I did finally make it to Belize, a country of rainforests, Myan sites, snorkeling and other attractions.

Australia, 1995

Dennis Showers and a Koala, in Australia

I meet a Koala

Australasian Association for History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science (AAHPSSS) Conference (1995)

I travelled to Sydney Australia to a meeting at the University of New South Wales to present a paper on the scientific literacy of scientists.

The Netherlands, 1994

Old and new windmills coexist in The Netherlands

Old and new windmills coexist in The Netherlands

International Organization for Science and Technology Education Conference in Veldhoven, The Netherlands

My presentation on scientific literacy and its implications for reforming science education was not as well received as similar papers I had presented in the United States. It seems that scientific literacy, a much-discussed topic among American science educators was not seen by participants at this conference as such an important issue. While Americans are arguing for some level of "literacy" for all, science educators from the other countries represented at the conference saw the purpose of education to identify careers for which different students had different aptitudes and to prepare them for the further education they would need to have to be successful.

Additional Foreign Conference Presentations

  • Trinidad 1998
  • Costa Rica 2000
  • Panama 2002
  • Bahamas 2006
  • Ecuador 2008
  • Nicaragua 2013