Michael Giamellaro

Assistant Professor, Teacher and Counselor Education
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Office: 541-322-2089

Graduate & Research Center

Graduate & Research Center 109

650 SW Columbia Street

650 SW Columbia Street
Bend, OR 97702
Ph.D., Educational Leadership and Innovation in Science, University of Colorado Denver
M.A., Science Curriculum and Instruction, University of Colorado Denver
B.S., Wildife and Fisheries Biology and Management, University of Wyoming
Curriculum Vitae: 

Profile Field Tabs

Research/Career Interests: 

My current research investigates the role of contextualization in science learning, or how learners make associations between targeted science content knowledge and the social, cultural, and physical aspects of their learning environment. My work stems from the theoretical assumptions that learning is situated within and inseparable from the learning environment. I am particularly interested in understanding science learning in environments where the learning context is authentically linked to the content to be learned, such as field experiences or cases where students conduct inquiry in conjunction with practicing scientists. The goal of this work is to help science teachers to improve these experiential pedagogies by more effectively leveraging the experiences to enhance learning and contextualization of science content.
My team is currently examining contextualized STEM learning with projects at various grain sizes. We are working with high school students to capture video approximations of their lived experiences in field learning settings; exploring teacher-scientist partnerships to better understand the social aspect of contextualization; and measuring the outcomes of implementing district-wide systemic reform at a local school district that is converting to a contextualized STEM focus in their curriculum, K-12.
I am also working with a dedicated group of individuals in Central Oregon who have been developing and running the Central Oregon STEM Hub. This organization is working to advance STEM learning and opportunities across the region.
Past work included research into the design and evaluation of instructionally-sensitive science assessments and links to quality of science instruction.

Beyond OSU

Giamellaro began his career as a biologist in Wyoming with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service where he found a passion for outreach, education, and engaging students in science. This led to a new career in science teaching that took him to Colorado and New York City where he began working with the integrated curriculum approaches that we now call STEM. In his current position Mike is happy to be combining his passions for teaching and research in Central Oregon. Everyday feels like a team effort involving students, pre-service teachers, practicing teachers, administrators, faculty peers, and community members, all working to better understand and implement STEM teaching and learning throughout the region, state, and World.

Selected Papers

Giamellaro, M. (2014). Primary contextualization of science learning through immersion in content-rich settings. International Journal of Science Education, 36:17, 2848-2871. DOI: 10.1080/09500693.2014.937787

Giamellaro, M. (2014) Measuring situated learning. In J. Settlage & A. Johnston (Eds.), Proceedings of the Science Education at the Crossroads Conference (pp. 36-37). Portland, OR. [Available online]

Giamellaro, M. (April, 2014). Science learning and levels of contextualization. Paper presented at the National Association for Research in Science Teaching annual international conference, Pittsburgh, PA.

Giamellaro, M. (2013, Sept.) Student use of facilitated versus peripheral learning opportunities to develop conceptual science knowledge in contextualized, outdoor settings. Paper presented at the European Science Education Research Association conference, Nicosia, Cyprus.

Giamellaro, M. (2013, April). The role of the physical environment in contextualizing science learning. Paper presented at the National Association for Research in Science Teaching annual international conference, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.

Ruiz-Primo, M.A., Li, M., Wills, K., Giamellaro, M., Lan, M-C., Mason, H., Feehan, J., Orgeron, M., & Sands, D. (2012). An approach for developing and evaluating instructionally sensitive assessments in science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 49:6, 691-712.  doi: 10.1002/tea.21030

Giamellaro, M., Ruiz-Primo, M. A., & Li, M. (2012, March) Quality elementary science teaching as reflected in productive failure. Paper presented at the National Association for Research in Science Teaching annual international conference, Indianapolis.

Giamellaro, M., Sands, D., Wills, K., Ruiz-Primo, M. A., & Li, M. (2012, April). Is this testing what was taught? Teachers’ and students’ perceptions of instructionally sensitive assessments. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association annual meeting, Vancouver, B.C.

Giamellaro, M., Lan, M-C,  Ruiz-Primo, M. A., Li, M., & Tasker, T. (2011, April). Mapping science curricula: A method for supporting teachers in the articulation of learning goals. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association annual meeting, New Orleans.

Giamellaro, M., Lan, M-C, Ruiz-Primo, M. A., & Li, M. (2011, April). Addressing elementary teacher misconceptions in science and supporting peer learning through curriculum mapping.  Paper presented at the National Association for Research in Science Teaching annual international conference, Orlando.


Giamellaro, M. (PI), Kudlac, B. (Culver School District), Gess-Newsome, J. (OSU), Dollar, N. (OSU). The Cascades STEM Lab School Cooperative. Oregon Department of Education STEM Lab School Grant.  $475,964, 1.2 years. Funded for 2014-15: $475,964

Whitelaw, D (High Desert Museum), Giamellaro, M., Bermudez, L. (Bend Science Station), Wopschall, K. (High Desert Museum). Central Oregon STEM Hub. Oregon Department of Education STEM hub initiative. Funded for 2014-15: $123,843.

Giamellaro, M., Gess-Newsome, J., Dollar, N., Garber, S., Kudlac, B.. Cultivating a STEM learning community in rural Oregon: A K-12/ university partnership.  Oregon University/School Partnership program supported by the U.S. Dept. of Education (Title II-a).  $240,000.