Worcester State University
Education Department

Douglas Dawson 

Contact Information  
Phone: 508-929-8415
Room: S227A
Email: ddawson@worcester.edu



B.A. - Biology, Princeton University, 1980

PhD – Psychobiology ( Neuroscience) University of California at Irvine, 1986


Courses taught at WSC:

            - Elementary Science Methods ( ED 320)
            - Elementary Mathematics Methods (ED325)
            - Early Childhood Science Methods (ED 307)
            - Early Childhood Mathematics Methods (ED308)


Philosophy of Teaching Math and Science
It has always been my experience that people learn better when they are interested, entertained, and actively involved in the process. Sadly, many people’s childhood experiences with math and science in school have been passive, teacher-directed ones in which students are expected to sit and soak up knowledge like little sponges, and then squeeze it back out on a fill-in-the-bubble-with-a-number-2-pencil test. My goal is to encourage future teachers to instead adopt an “inquiry” approach to teaching science and math, in which students are active participants in hands-on activities and are encouraged to explore, investigate, and make choices which affect the way that the activity turns out.


Professional Affiliations

Board of Directors, Massachusetts Association of Science Teachers (MAST)

Museum Institute for Teaching Science (MITS)

National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)

Recent Conference Presentations: 

MAST conference 2002 – “Integrating Math and Life Sciences”

( Size, scale, population dynamics, assessing intelligence )

MAST conference 2003 – “Teaching Biology Using Games”

( Adapting familiar board games to include science content )


MAST conference 2004 – “Finding Science in Children’s Picture Books”

( Linking physics, biology, geology to Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle, etc. )


MAST conference 2005 – “Stories in Bones” 

( Inferences about modern and prehistoric animals from bones )

MAST conference 2007 – “Cryptozoology” 

( Using Bigfoot, Loch Ness monster and other cryptids to teach
about the scientific method, skepticism, and acceptable evidence )


Book Publications

Creating Family Friendly Activities in Science and Math

By Janet Stein and Duke Dawson ( 2002)  copyright MassPIP and distributed by the Alliance For Education, Worcester


Biotechnology – The Science of Life

By Duke Dawson, Stacey Hill, and Jill Rulfs ( 1995 ) Kendall Hunt


Journal Articles 

Dawson, D. R. and H.P. Killackey ( 1987 ) The organization and mutability of the forepaw and hindpaw representations in the somatosensory cortex of the neonatal rat. ( doctoral dissertation ). Journal of Comparative Neurology 256 246-256


Dawson, D.R. and H.P. Killackey ( 1985 ) Distinguishing topography and somatotopy in the thalamocortical projections of the developing rat. Developmental Brain Research 17 309-313


Tempel, B.L., N. Bonini, D.R. Dawson, and W.G. Quinn ( 1983 ) Reward learning in normal and mutant Drosophila. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 80 1482-1486


Miscellaneous Information

Some favorite books: Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne, Shibumi by Trevanian; anything by HG Wells

Some favorite films: Speed Racer, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai, The Iron Giant


Related Links

DataBridge © WSU, 486 Chandler Street, Worcester, MA 01602
Phone: 508-929-8000