Dr. Edna Tan (TEHE) Awarded Hooks Distinguished Professorship in STEM Education

Posted on September 15, 2021

edna tan hooks feature image

Congratulations to Dr. Edna Tan, professor in the Department of Teacher Education and Higher Education (TEHE), on being named the second recipient of the Jennifer Smith Hooks ’76 and Jacob T. Hooks Distinguished Professorship in STEM Education.

The professorship, announced in the fall of 2016, is a pivotal component of the UNC Greensboro School of Education’s vision to provide transformative educational experiences, advance research and innovation, and bridge research and practice.

Dr. Tan is a professor of science education in the TEHE department. She was formerly a chemistry and biology secondary school teacher in the Republic of Singapore. Her community-engaged research investigates the design, support, and outcomes of equitable and consequential STEM learning for historically minoritized youth across learning contexts and over time. She has engaged in extensive research and development work with urban schools and communities facing formidable, systemic inequities.

Dr. Tan’s current National Science Foundation (NSF) funded projects include research-practice partnerships with minoritized and recently-resettled refugee youth who are engaging in STEM-rich makerspace work in their communities. She also works with middle school science teachers in co-developing and enacting an “Engineering for Sustainable Communities” curriculum that attends to students’ engineering toward justice-oriented ends.

Dr. Tan engages in collaborative projects nationally, working with co-investigators from the University of Michigan, Rutgers University, Boston University, and the Concord Consortium. Her research has been published in the American Educational Research Journal, Teachers College Record, the Journal of the Learning Sciences, Journal of Research in Science Education, Science Education, among others.

Her co-authored publications was awarded the 2019 Best Paper Award, The Journal of the Learning Sciences, for the paper, “Designing for rightful presence in STEM: Community ethnography as pedagogy as an equity oriented design approach,” and the 2021 Best Article of the Year Award, Journal of Teacher Education for the paper “Rethinking High-Leverage Practices in Justice-Oriented Ways.” In 2020, Dr. Tan was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

“I am honored and looking forward to partnering with the Hooks’ in working towards justice-oriented STEM teaching and learning” Dr. Tan said. Read more about her work here.

The Hooks Distinguished Professorship was established by Jennifer and Jake Hooks. Jennifer Smith Hooks ’76 is a third generation alumna of the School of Education.

Jennifer and Jake Hooks have supported the UNCG School of Education for many years, establishing the Carrie Perkins Davis/Katherine Davis Smith Scholarship in Education in honor of Jennifer’s grandmother and mother. In addition, Jennifer Hooks is a member of the School of Education Advisory Board and the UNCG Alumni Board of Directors.

Pictured above, left to right: Jennifer Hooks, Edna Tan, and Jake Hooks.