Brant G. Miller, Ph.D.
Brant G. Miller, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Science Education
PO Box 443082
Moscow, ID 83844-3082
- Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 2010
- M.S., Black Hills State University, 2004
- B.S., Black Hills State University, 2001
Fulbright U.S. Scholar in Chile – 2020
2018 paper of the year in the journal Cultural Studies of Science Education for the article: “Indigenous cultural contexts for STEM experiences: Snow Snakes’ impact on students and the community”
University of Idaho Presidential Mid-Career Faculty Award 2016 - 2018
University of Idaho Hoffman Excellence in Teaching Award nomination, 2015
University of Idaho Hoffman Excellence in Teaching Award nomination, 2014
Sanford Science Education Center Education and Outreach Think-Tank: Distinguished Outside Expert. Black Hills, South Dakota, September 24-26, 2014.
The Graduate School's Best Dissertation Award Nomination - Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota, 2012.
I feel so lucky to be doing the work I do, pursuing projects I think will make a difference in science education. Over the years, I have settled into a few different avenues of research and programming, for example, Adventure Learning, technology integration and impacts, science teacher professional development situated in local contexts, culturally derived and sustaining approaches to STEM education, and science communication to K-12 audiences. In general, I’m interested in using local and global contexts to engage students and teachers in meaningful experiences that teach about important and timely aspects of the world we live in. I’ve had the opportunity to travel throughout the western United States, including Alaska, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Chile, and Ecuador (primarily the Galapagos Islands), working with students, teachers, scientists, and communities, identifying productive ways to communicate science and engage with leading edge scientific phenomenon.
Before pursuing doctoral work, I was a middle school science teacher for six years in western South Dakota. I loved teaching middle school students. I also loved the prospects and creative potential of being a faculty member and pursuing grants to bring ideas to reality. It’s hard to do it all. Now, I work mostly with undergraduate students. They still laugh at my jokes…mostly.
I am excited about my current projects. See the “Research Projects” section for more details. Beginning in the fall of 2019, I will be on sabbatical in Chile. While there, I am excited to contribute to a variety of science education and teacher preparation initiatives at PUCV (https://www.pucv.cl/). I will also be conducting the work of my Fulbright U.S. Scholar project at PUCV beginning in March of 2020.
- Near-peer Inquiry approaches
- Culturally sustaining approaches to STEM education
- Adventure Learning
- Science Agency, Identity, and Literacy
- Science Teacher Professional Development
- The opportunity and potential of technology to impact teaching and learning
A science educator doing science: I have been exploring how doing science is impacting my thinking about the preparation of science teachers. Through my colleague’s NSF CAREER project (Dr. Christine Parent), I have had the opportunity to accompany her in the field in the Galapagos Islands to assist with science communication efforts as well as be part of the field research team. As I thought more about the opportunity, I wanted to see the scientific process through to publication of findings, based on what we collected in the field. Thus, I have been spending time in the lab learning how to extract DNA, working towards the preparation of a manuscript contributing knowledge to the phylogeny of Succinae land snails. As I am doing science I am also reflecting on my thinking towards the nature of science and how these experiences are impacting my thinking around the preparation of science teachers. I am also working on a manuscript with an autoethnographic frame to elicit a narrative on the importance of science teacher educators engaging in science while at the same time preparing future science teachers.
Near-peer inquiry: We have been exploring the impacts of partnering science majors with education majors to conduct an inquiry project. The idea is that by utilizing authentic science practices and the intentional coupling of near-peer students that have expertise valuable to the other, we will effectively improve STEM learning and learning environments for our undergraduate students. For example, pre-service teachers are developing pedagogical expertise and knowledge of child development but may lack confidence and agency in using scientific tools and in designing inquiry-based instruction with future students. Biology majors are establishing their science content knowledge but are not given opportunities to explore their own biological questions and how to communicate the scientific knowledge they are accruing to a lay audience. Both the pre-service teachers and the biology majors, we argue, can learn important lesson through a shared science inquiry experience. Additionally, I will be implementing this approach in an international setting during my sabbatical in the spring of 2020 through a Fulbright U.S. Scholar fellowship.
Grounded ‘newe’tivity: This project conducts interdisciplinary research with elders, language speakers, professionals, and youth of the Shoshone-Bannocks to investigate links between cultural values driving educational attainment across generations and ecological research goals. The purpose of this project is to support youth to contribute and navigate educational and cultural landscapes to successfully becoming professionals in the sciences with tribal agencies as well as tribal citizens with a grounding in what we are calling grounded “‘newe’tivity” or Shoshone-Bannock activities and ways of being grounded in place and culture. The goal is for students to understand culture as well as the nuances and complexities of a western scientific and political landscape that directly impacts tribal interests.
- Lysne, S. J., & Miller, B. G. (2017). A comparison of long-term knowledge retention between two teaching approaches. Journal of College Science Teaching, 46(6), 64-71.
- Miller, B. G. (2017). Outdoor learning. In K. Peppler (Ed.), The SAGE encyclopedia of out-of-school learning (pp. 560-561). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.
- Squires, A., Jennewein, J., Engels, M., Miller, B., & Eitel, K. B. (Fall 2016). Integrating Watershed Science in High School Classrooms: The Confluence Project Approach. CLEARING, 14-17.
- Miller, B. G., & Roehrig, G. H. (2016). Indigenous cultural contexts for STEM experiences: Snow Snakes’ impact on students and the community. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 13(1), 31-58. DOI :10.1007/s11422-016-9738-4.
- Miller, B. G., Cox, C.J., Hougham, R.J., Walden, V.P., Eitel, K.B., Albano, A.D. (2015).Adventure learning as a curricular approach that transcends geographies and connects people to place. The Curriculum Journal, 26(2), 290-312.
- Kimmons, R., Miller, B. G., Amador, J., Desjardins, C., & Hall, C. (early access). Technology integration coursework and finding meaning in pre-service teachers' reflective practice. Educational Technology Research & Development.
- Anderson, C., Miller, B. G., Eitel, K.B., Veletsiano, G., Eitel, J.U.H., & Hougham, R.J. (2015). Comparing a technology enhanced approach and a traditional approach to K-12 field-based environmental education. Electronic Journal of Science Education, 19(6), 1-19.
- Hougham, R.J., Eitel, K.B., & Miller, B. G. (2015). Technology-enriched STEM investigations of place: Using technology to extend the senses and build connections to and between places in science education. Journal of Geoscience Education, 63(2), 90-97.
- Veletsianos, G., Miller, B. G., Eitel, K., Eitel, J., Hougham, J., & Hansen, D. (2015). Lessons learned from the design and development of technology-enhanced outdoor learning experiences. Tech Trends, 59(4), .
- Rittenburg, R.A., Miller, B. G., Rust, C., Kreider, R., Esler, J., Squires, A.L., Boylan, R.D. (2015). The community connection: Engaging students and community partners in project-based science. The Science Teacher, 82(1), 47-52.
- Donna, J. D., & Miller, B. G. (2013). Using cloud-computing applications to support collaborative scientific inquiry: Examining pre-service teachers’ perceived barriers towards integration.Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 39(3), 1-17.
- Eitel, K. B., Hougham, R. J., & Miller, B. G., Schon, J., & LaPaglia, K. (2013). Upload, download: Empowering students through technology-enabled problem-based learning. Science Scope, 38(7), 32-39.
- Miller, B. G., Hougham, R. J., & Eitel, K. B. (2013). The practical enactment of adventure learning: Where will you AL@? Tech Trends, 57(4), 28-33.
- Miller, B. G., Doering, A., Roehrig, G., & Shimek, R. (2012). Fostering Indigenous STEM education: Mobilizing the adventure learning framework through snow snakes. Journal of American Indian Education, 51(2), 66-84.