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Jason Stecklein, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Physics

Educational Background

B.S.  Loras College, Physics and Mathematics, 1996

M.S.  Iowa State University, Physics, 1999

Ph.D. University of Iowa, Science Education, 2014

Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy centers on the learning theory of Social Constructivism and the production of student understanding through active engagement and interactions with other student learners and instructor.  As I have become more experienced and knowledgeable about science learning and teaching, I have discovered value in group-centered learning techniques, which transcend traditional, lecture-focused instructional approaches.  Moreover, it has become clear to me that learning is not analogous to pouring information into a student’s head, but rather more akin to the production of a garden of learning, tended and grown by carefully attending teachers through student-teacher interactions.  My teaching philosophy therefore includes a focus on group-centered learning engendered in three main areas: (1) the social nature of learning, including the eliciting of students’ prior knowledge frameworks and fostering conceptual conflicts and conceptual change; (2) organizing group-centered learning environments mediated by interactive technologies; and (3) modifying teacher assessment structures to augment student learning.

‘Learning is the public and private negotiation of understanding.’

Jason Stecklein


Research Interests

Effects of the use of interactive technologies on student learning in science

Courses Taught

  • Elements of Physics PHYS 110, 111
  • Introduction to Astronomy PHYS 104
  • Introduction to Physical Science PHYS 103

Certifications and Memberships

Chair, Dubuque County Democrats 2003-2005