Joseph S. Krajcik

Joseph S. Krajcik

The University of Tartu has conferred the degree of Honorary Doctor of Science Education on Professor Joseph S. Krajcik for promoting research related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics education and for his effective cooperation with University of Tartu researchers and doctoral students in international projects. 


Joseph S. Krajcik was born on 18 April 1951 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1976, he completed his Chemistry and Broad Field Natural Science Certification at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In 1982, he earned a master's degree in Science Education at the University of Iowa and completed his PhD in Science Education at the same university in 1986. He was a Professor of Science Education at the University of Michigan from 1990 until 2010.  


In 2011, Krajcik joined Michigan State University to direct the CREATE for STEM Institute. In 2015, he became Lappan-Phillips Professor of Science Education at Michigan State University. In addition to several universities in the United States, he has also worked in South Africa, South Korea, Israel and China. 


Joseph S. Krajcik has significantly contributed to promoting STEM education at the international level. His research focuses on promoting students' engagement and learning of science through designing, developing, and testing project-based science learning environments. His goal is to support students in learning science by doing science and creating engaging learning environments where students from diverse backgrounds make sense of phenomena related to natural sciences.  


Joseph S. Krajcik is one of the authors of US curriculum standards and has written numerous curriculum materials, software and books. He has served as president of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST). He has received various prestigious awards for promoting science education, including the McGraw Prize in 2020 and the International Society for Design and Development in Education Prize for Excellence in Educational Design and Development in 2021. The US National Academy of Education elected Krajcik as a member in 2019.    


From 2016–2022, Krajcik was on a project supported by the US and the Finnish governments to improve the teaching and learning of STEM through developing engaging learning environments. As he has served as a member of the OECD PISA expert committee, Professor Krajcik is well known in Europe.  


Joseph Krajcik's ties to the University of Tartu started in 2004 when he worked at the University of Michigan and organised cooperation seminars with University of Tartu researchers as part of the Fulbright program. In 2017–2018, two researchers from the Centre for Science Education of the Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences worked at Michigan State University under Professor Krajcik. 


Professor Krajcik is also a partner in several research proposals from the Centre for Science Education currently under evaluation. From 2020 until the end of the project, he participated in the advisory committee of the Horizon 2020 Twinning project "Addressing Attractiveness of Science Career Awareness". From 2018 to 2022, he conducted research seminars at the University of Tartu for doctoral students and teaching staff. In December 2021, he presented a keynote at the international symposium for doctoral students and researchers in Tartu. He has participated and continues to participate in peer review of doctoral theses and the supervision of articles of University of Tartu doctoral students.  


Joseph S. Krajcik has contributed significantly to the advancement of science education in many parts of the world and has involved University of Tartu researchers and doctoral students in international working groups and projects.