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Cathy Wissehr

Cathy Wissehr

Clinical Assoc Professor


(CIED)-Curriculum and Instruction

Phone: 479-575-2127

Fax: (479) 575-6676

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Cathy Wissehr received her B.S. in Elementary Education with an emphasis in science in 1997 from Southeast Missouri State University. She then began her teaching career in rural schools teaching third-grade math, a combined fifth- and sixth-grade class for all subject areas, and the gifted program in grades 2-7. In 2001, she earned a Master's of Natural Science with a Middle School emphasis, also from Southeast Missouri State.

In January 2009 she joined the University of Arkansas College of Education and Health Professions after graduating from the Ph.D. program at the University of Missouri. Her dissertation compared outdoor classrooms in rural and nonrural areas. Her research interests include science learning in informal environments, rural science teaching, environmental education, teacher development, and teacher misconceptions.

When not working, she enjoys spending time with her four children, grandchildren, and numerous pets. Other interests include riding and training horses, gardening, nature photography, spinning yarns and coloring them with natural dyes, woodworking, fly tying and fishing, and travel. She is looking forward to exploring the national parks in the lower 48 states from horseback.

Environmental science education and informal outdoor learning

Teachers’ science misconceptions

Teacher development

Science education in rural schools

Integrated STEM teaching and learning

Problem-based/Project-based Instruction

Science methods courses

Problem-based science/integrated STEM

Informal education

Undergraduate courses

  • CIED 3033: Classroom Learning Theory (On-line)

  • CIED 3143: Teaching Science in the Elementary Grades (Undergraduate, every semester from Spring 2009 to present)

  • EDST 3203: Multicultural Education Issues

  • EDST 3333: Children’s and Young Adult Literature

  • EDST 4113: Advanced Educational Studies (Informal and Outdoor Education)

  • EDUC 1001: Freshman Seminar (Fall 2010)

  • STEM 3303: Project-based Instruction (Fall 2015) – for UATeach program

Graduate courses

  • CIED 5193: Integrating Mathematics and Science for Middle Level (Fall 2009, Fall 2010)

  • STEM 5203: Problem-based Mathematics for STEM Education (Fall 2013, 2016)

  • STEM 5213: Problem-based Science for STEM Education (Spring 2014 to 2016)

  • CIED 5273: Introduction to Research (Fall 2012)

  • CIED 5503: Teaching Science in the Elementary Grades (Graduate level for ALP)

Ph.D., University of Missouri, 2009
M.N.S., Southeast Missouri State, 2001
B.S., Southeast Missouri State University, 1997


Jenkins, L.L., Walker, R.M., Tenenbaum, Z., Sadler, K. & Wissehr, C.  (2014). Why the secret of the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont will change science education: Connecting people and nature. In Mueller, M.P. & Tippins, D.J. (Eds), EcoJustice, Citizen Science and Youth Activism: Situated Tensions for Science Education. Dotdrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

Wissehr, C. (2014). Environmental education (EE). In W.F. McComas (Ed.), The language of science education: An expanded glossary of key terms and concepts in science teaching and learning (p38). Boston: Sense Publishers.

Wissehr, C. (2014). Experiential learning. In W.F. McComas (Ed.), The language of science education: An expanded glossary of key terms and concepts in science teaching and learning (p40). Boston: Sense Publishers.

Wissehr, C. (2014). Place-based learning. In W.F. McComas (Ed.), The language of science education: An expanded glossary of key terms and concepts in science teaching and learning (p73). Boston: Sense Publishers.


Daugherty, M.K., Kindall, H.D., Carter, V.C., Swagerty, L.M., Wissehr, C., & Robertson, S. (2017). Integrating informational text and STEM: An innovative and necessary curricular approach. Journal of STEM Teacher Education 52(1), 3-15.

Clary, R., Walker, R. & Wissehr, C. (2017). Embedding sustainability instruction across content areas: Best classroom practices from informal environmental education. Journal of Geoscience Education 65(2), 185-193.

Daugherty, M., Beachner, M., Carter, V., Swagerty, L. & Wissehr, C. (2016).  Expanding earth science in STEM: A model. Journal of STEM Teacher Education 50(1), 61-75.

Siegel, M.A., Menon, D., Sinha, S., Promyod, N., Wissehr, C., & Halverson, K. (2014). Equitable written assessments for English language learners: How scaffolding helps. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 25(6), 681-708.

Carter, V., Daugherty, M., Wissehr, C. & Orr, B. (2013, November). Defining characteristics of an integrated STEM curriculum in K-12 education.  Proceedings of the Mississippi Valley Technology Teacher Education Conference. Chicago, IL

Wissehr, C., Concannon, J. & Barrow, L. (2011). Looking back at the Sputnik era and its impact on science education. School Science and Mathematics, 111(7), 368-375.

Siegel, M. & Wissehr, C. (2011) Preparing for the plunge: Preservice teachers' assessment literacy.  Journal of Science Teacher Education, 22, 371-391.

Seigel, M., Wissehr, C. & Halverson, K (2008) Sounds like success: A framework for equitable assessment. The Science Teacher, 75(3), 43-46.

Barrow, L.H. & Wissehr, C.F. (2008). Science notebooks facilitate weather literacy. The Earth Scientist, 28(3), 20-23.

Barrow, L.H., Wissehr, C., & Ratley, C. (2007). Don’t forget about inquiry when teaching weather. The Earth Scientist, 24(2), 22-25.

Wissehr, C. (1999). Castles and Camelot.  The Transescent, 23(4), 32-39.


2015 to present   University of Arkansas, Associate Clinical Professor (Science and STEM Education)

                           2009 to 2015       University of Arkansas, Assistant Professor (Science and STEM Education)

2011                University of Arkansas Associated Student Government Faculty Teaching Award

2011                University of Arkansas New Faculty Commendation for Teaching Commitment   

2011                CIED Rising Star Award