Anita Benna

School of Education IU Northwest

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Areas of Expertise

Professional development for K-12 teachers in STEM, teacher beliefs about change, risks associated with implementing innovative practices, engineering design implementation, problem-based learning, epistemic network analysis, urban teacher education, student learning.

Expert Bio

Anita Benna is an associate professor of science education in the School of Education. Her research is framed around professional development for K-12 teachers in STEM, problem-based learning, and engineering design in K-12 classrooms. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in science and inquiry.

Benna has acquired multiple grants through IU to fund her research with area K-12 teachers. Her goal is to acquire an NSF grant so that the impact on area schools in regard to science teaching using inquiry and with problem-based learning strategies can be substantial for students, thereby encouraging a stronger STEM pipeline between K-12 education and college-level majors in the STEM fields.

Benna regards teaching as her passion, and it is this passion that creates vibrant learning communities within her classrooms and courses. Her goal is for pre-service teachers to understand the impact of teaching in a way that students are drawn into the community and become genuinely interested in the pursuit of knowledge through higher levels of engagement with their peers in the classroom environment.

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Additional Information

Effectual Reasoning and Innovation among Entrepreneurial Science Teacher Leaders: a Correlational Study:,
What Happens When a Teacher’s Science Belief Structure Is in Disequilibrium? Entangled Nature of Beliefs and Practice:,
Seeing Into the Minds of P-12 Teachers & Students: A Visual Representation of Cognitive Thought:

Updated on: July 6, 2022