James Barufaldi

James Barufaldi



Office & Hours

Office: SZB 340A
By appointment

(512) 232-6203

(512) 471-8466

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Courses of Instruction
EDC 370 Elementary Science Methods
EDC 385 G Advanced Topics Course: Research on Professional Development in STEM Education

Mailing Address
The University of Texas at Austin
Curriculum & Instruction
1912 Speedway
Austin, TX 78712-1608
UT Mail Code: D5500

Full Vita
download vita (pdf)



Dr. James P. Barufaldi is the Ruben E. Hinojosa Regents Professor and serves as Director of the Center for STEM Education at The University of Texas at Austin. He also serves as Principal Investigator of the Texas Regional Collaboratives for Excellence in Science Teaching. In 2003 Barufaldi was selected as a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers at The University. He teaches undergraduate elementary science methods courses and graduate courses in STEM education. Barufaldi's special areas of interests are professional development, curriculum design, instructional strategies, implementation, evaluation, and science teacher education. He is currently investigating the process of building successful collaboratives in the science education community and variables, which may contribute to high intensity, sustained collaboration.




1972, Ph. D., University of Maryland, Science Education

1989, Honorary Degree, Doctor of Science, Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio, February 14


Representative Publications

(with Brown, L. (2010). “A System’s Perspective for Professional Development in Science and Mathematics Education” In J. R. Slater & R. Ravid (Eds.), Collaboration in Education. (pp. 102-109). New York: Routledge.

(with Chang, C. et al). Exploring the Impact of Prior Knowledge and Appropriate Feedback on Students’ Perceived Cognitive Load and Learning Outcomes: Animation-based earthquake instruction. International Journal of Science Education, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, Vol. 34, No. 10, July 2012, pp. 1555–1570.

(with Sawadthaisong, N. and Chitaree, R.) “Demonstration of momentum and kinetic energy during an entire collision”, The Physics Teacher, Vol. 49, Issue 1, January 2011, p. 56.

(with Cormas, P.) “The effective research-based characteristics of professional development of the National Science Foundation's GK-12 Program”, Journal of Science Teacher Education, Vol. 22, No. 3, 2011, pp. 255-272 (DOI: 10.1007/s10972-011-9228-1).

(with Chang, C.-Y., Yeh, T.-K.) “The positive and negative effects of science content tests on student conceptual understanding”, International Journal of Science Education, Vol. 32, No. 2, 15 January 2010, pp. 265-282.

(with Oliveira, C.) “Aliens are us: An innovative course in astrobiology”. International Journal of Astrobiology, Cambridge University Press, 2009.

(with Chang, C., Lin, M., & Chen, Y.) “Assessing tenth-grade students’ problem solving ability online in the area of Earth science”, Computers in Human Behavior, 23 (2007), pages 1971-1981.

Recent Awards

  • Ruben E. Hinojosa Regents Professorship in Education, (effective 9/2001).
  • Member, The University Academy of Distinguished Teaching Professors, 2003-present.
  • Profiled in the chapter, “James P. Barufaldi: Teacher of Science Teachers”, in the recent issue of The Journal of Philosophy & History of Education. The profile describes Dr. Barufaldi’s journey in science education and his contributions to professional development in STEM education, 2011.
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1989-present.

Current Research Projects and Grants

Principal Investigator, Center for STEM Education, The Texas Regional Collaboratives for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching, College of Education, The University of Texas at Austin. Funding partners include the Texas Education Agency, The National Science Foundation, Shell Oil, El Paso Corporation, Toyota Foundation, AT&T Foundation, and the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, 1995 - present.

Principal Investigator for the NSF funded projects, Instrument Development for Exploring Professional Growth Continuum, and the Building BaseLine Objectives for Children’s Knowledge and Skills for Science.

Research Interests and Expertise

Professional development, curriculum design, analysis, implementation of STEM education.

Boards, Committees and Associations

  • Field Center Coordinator, Chautauqua Short Course for College Science Teachers, Center for STEM Education, 1993 - present.
  • Chair, Master Teachers Resource Council, The Barbara Jordan Master Teacher Fellow Program, Barbara Jordan Freedom Foundation, 2010 - present.
  • Consultant, Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology, Bangkok, Thailand, 2004 - present.
  • Consultant, Science Education, San Angelo Independent School District, 2007 – present.
  • Board member, Taiwan Ministry of Education (MOE) funded project, Aim for the Top University (ATU) project of the National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), 2012 -2017.