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University of Iowa News Release

March 29, 2004

Yager Honored For Lifetime Contribution To Science Education

The National Association of Research in Science Teaching (NARST) has named University of Iowa professor Robert Yager, Ph.D., its 2004 honoree for a lifetime of distinguished contributions to science education.

Yager will receive the award during the association's 2004 conference in Vancouver, B.C., April 1-5, becoming only the 18th person to be bestowed the 80-year-old organization's most prestigious honor.

Yager, a member of the UI College of Education's faculty for 48 years, has seen the science education program develop into one of the largest and most productive in the world in terms of graduate students, model programs, funded projects and national and international activities. Currently the program has 35 Ph.D. candidates, although the number has at times reached as high as 50.

Yager has directed about 150 funded projects, attracting nearly $20 million of external financial support. He has chaired 120 Ph.D. committees and dissertations with graduates from across the United States and many other countries.

"Such recognition is a humbling experience," Yager said. "But it provides an opportunity to question more, to try more, to promote learning, to see even more success with innovative and successful efforts and to achieve more learning with understanding and use."

He has been the president of seven national professional organizations, including the NARST. He headed the 50,000-member National Science Teacher Association (NSTA), where he championed the cause for encouraging changes based on research in every classroom. He has maintained that science education is a legitimate and vital discipline seriously in need of a more significant theoretical and research base. And he organized a Search for Excellence in Science Education program, which identified the best practices in terms of teaching with evidence from students in K-12 classrooms. Currently Yager is editing a monograph series for the NSTA, which continues to find exceptional teachers, teaching and programs exemplifying the visions elaborated in the 1996 NSTA Science Education Standards.

Yager has received many other national and international honors, among them the NSTA Carleton Award and the 1998 Jose Vasconcelos International Award in Education. And the International Council of the Association of Science Educators has recognized him with its Distinguished Service Citation.

He has hosted more than 12 Fulbright Scholars, most recently from Japan, Egypt, Estonia and the Philippines. His publications number more than 600, including research reports, monographs, book chapters and edited books.

He currently works with Iowa schools that have model Title IIa projects in Waterloo and Mason City. Title IIa projects, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, seek to assist schools in meeting their comprehensive school improvement plans, including those related to the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Additionally, Yager has directed programs for international teachers, eight in the past eight years, from Korea. And he will be teaching a course in Taiwan in May 2004 and keynoting international conference in Korea and Japan later this summer.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Media: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007,