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Associate Professor
Educational Inquiry and Curriculum Studies
College of Arts and Sciences
Courses Taught 
SCED-303R: Materials and Methods for Teaching High School Science
SCED-305B: Secondary Student Teaching/Seminar: Biology
SCED 301:WIP-Methods of Teaching Secondary Level
ELED-305: Methods of teaching Science in Elementary Schools
ELED-415: Interrelating Science and Mathematics with clinical
EPHYS-456-1: Nature of Science and Inquiry in Middle Schools
PHYS 201: College Physics 1
PHYS 108: Physics Concepts
CHEM 211: General Chemistry-Lab
CHEM 110: Chemical Concepts
Research Interests 
Scientific Inquiry Nature of Science Professional Development Self Efficacy of Preservice Teachers and College Students

Ph.D.Science Education
Indiana  University, Bloomington

2002 Science Education
University of Missouri, Columbia

1998 Physics
Ankara University, Turkey

Selected Publications 

Oliveira, A., Akerson, V., Colak, H., Pongsanon, K., & Genel, A. (2012) The implicitcommunication of nature of science and epistemology during inquiry discussion.Science Education,1-32.

Akerson, V. L., White, O., Colak, H., & Pongsanon, K. (2011, April). Relationships between elementary teachers’ conceptions of scientific modeling and the nature of science. In M. S. Khine and I. M. Saleh (Eds) Models and modeling: Cognitive tool for scientific inquiry. Netherlands: Springer.

Colak, H. (2009).Exploring the development of nature of science views and personal epistemologies of upper elementary and middle school students. Germany: Lap Lambert Academic Publishing.

Kazempour, M., Amirshokoohi, A., & Colak, H. (2009). Turkish preservice and in-service teachers’ beliefs about inquiry. The International Journal of Learning, 16, 7, 435-444.


Dr. Colak is a native of Turkey where he received a B.S. in physics and gained experience as an elementary school teacher in grades 3-8. In 2002, Colak earned an M.Ed. in science education from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and in 2008 he earned a Ph.D. in science education from Indiana University Bloomington. At Northeastern, he will be teaching both elementary and secondary science education courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. His philosophy of education is based on his belief that students learn science by investigation and by constructing their own knowledge base in conjunction with their daily life experiences. He hopes that he can instill in his students a strong feeling for teaching and learning about science, and that he can help them understand the nature of science so they can embed those concepts in their science teaching. In addition to his teaching, Dr. Colak plans to pursue research in which he will investigate both students’ and teachers’ nature of science views and personal epistemologies.

Additional Information 

Recent Presentations:

Colak, H.& Carstensen, A. (2014). Working towards a better qualitative measure of nature of science conceptions. The proposal was accepted to the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual National Conference in April 2014 in Philadelphia, PA.

Colak, H. & Carstensen, A. (2014). Examining a new teacher preparation program's effect on preservice teachers' views of nature of science. The proposal was accepted to the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) International Conference in April 2014 in Pittsburgh, PA.

 Carstensen, A. & Colak, H. (2014) . A nature of science instrument: looking at ways to illicit and capture interrelated NOS aspects. The proposal was accepted to the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) Annual National Conference in April 2014 in Pittsburgh, PA.

 Colak, H. & Carstensen, A. (April, 2013). The impact on integrated science and math instruction on preservice elementary teachers' nature of science views. The paper was presented at the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) Annual International Conference in Rio Grande / Puerto Rico.

 Dolan, P., Colak, H., Williams, T. W., Anderson K. &, Mangelsdorf M. J. (2012). Integrating inquiry-based math and science for preservice middle school teachers. The workshop was presented to the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) National Conference, Indianapolis, IN.


In 2014, awarded $5000 faculty research stipend from the Provost’s office to conduct a research study entitled The College Students’ Nature of Science Views Along With Their Self-Efficacies, Motivational Orientations to teach Science, and Personal Epistemologies.

In 2012, awarded $5000 from the Provost to buy vernier calculators and probes to conduct a study about incorporating technology and math in teaching science  and  exploring the candiates’ development of nature of science understanding.

In 2010, awarded $3000 from the Dean of School of Education to conduct a study entitled “How does    the math competency of pre-service elementary and middle school teachers affect their NOS views.” Northeastern Illinois University.

Arts and Sciences

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