Mahsa Kazempour

Mahsa Kazempour headshot
Associate Professor, Science Education
Beaver Athletics and Wellness Center, 201D

Dr. Mahsa Kazempour is an associate professor of science education at Penn State Berks and chair of the Sustainability Council. She is responsible for teaching science and science education courses including Science Methods for Elementary Education majors and Environmental Science. 

In her role as Sustainability Council Chair, Dr. Kazempour leads sustainability efforts on campus, directing campus-wide initiatives such as the campus garden project and composting and planning educational events including film screenings, speakers and panel discussions, and sustainable self-care and Earth Day festivals. Her passion is leading change, locally and globally, with the goal of achieving sustainability and social/environmental/economic justice and equity through education, awareness, active engagement, service, and collaboration. Learn more about sustainability at Penn State Berks >

Dr. Kazempour's research focuses on the professional development of both prospective and in-service teachers and ways to improve K-16 science instruction. Her research aims to explore prospective elementary teachers' beliefs, attitudes, and self-efficacy with regard to science and science teaching, and changes in these constructs and participants’ teaching practices as a result of enrolling a science methods course or participating in professional development sessions. Her other line of research focuses on undergraduate students’ level of environmental literacy and sense of social responsibility with respect to the environment and changes in these constructs as a result of enrolling in a service-learning focused environmental science course. Her environmental science students engage in the Environmental Awareness & Community Action Project (EACAP), which allows them to partner with local organizations in taking action to protect the environment. Learn more about the project and see samples of students' projects online >

Dr. Kazempour was selected as the 2022-24 Penn State Engagement Academy Scholar and awarded $82,000 for her EACAP: Partnership for Student & Community Engagement scholarly project. She was also selected as a 2023 Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium (PERC) Campus Sustainability Champion because of her commitment to sustainability literacy, community outreach and engagement, and the way she brings a deep love of learning to everything she engages in. She has also received the 2022-2023 Penn State Berks ‘Outstanding Community Engagement’ award, 2017 ‘Outstanding Service’ award, and 2017 ‘MLK Jr.’ award.

Dr. Kazempour's research interests include:

  • Science education
  • STEM education
  • Inquiry-based instruction
  • Teacher development (in-service & pre-service teachers)
  • Science, Technology, Society (STS) education
  • Sustainability/environmental education
  • Community engagement
  • Service-learning

Sample Publications

Kazempour, M., Amirshokoohi, A., & Soyer, M. (2022). A Case Study of Elementary Pre-Service Teachers Experiencing an STS-Based Science Methods Course. Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 18 (4), e2299.

Amirshokoohi, A., & Kazempour, M. (Co-Author) (2022). Facing Global Challenges through a Transformative and Emancipatory Vision of Scientific Literacy. In Purcell, B. (Ed), Yes, Francis! Ways to Help the Post-Pandemic World.

Kazempour, M., & Amirshokoohi, A. (2020). Preservice Teachers’ Collaborative Learning Experiences in a Science Content Course. Science Education International. 379-385

Kazempour, M., Amirshokoohi, A., & Blamey, K. (2020). Putting Theory to Practice: Teaching the 5E Learning Cycle through Immersive Experiences for Pre-Service Teachers. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 8(1), 67-75.

Kazempour, M. (2018). Elementary Preservice Teachers’ Authentic Inquiry Experiences and Reflections: A Multicase Study. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 29(7), 644-663. ISBN/ISSN: 10.1080/1046560X.2018.1487201.

Kazempour, M. & Amirshokoohi, A. (2018). Evolution Education in Iran: Shattering Myths about Teaching Evolution in an Islamic State. In H. Deniz & L. Borgerding (Eds.), Evolution Education around the World New York: Springer. Peer-reviewed/refereed.

Kazempour, M. (2017). The Home Inquiry Project: Elementary Preservice Teachers’ Scientific Inquiry Journey. Innovations in Science Teacher Education, 2(4), 1-8.

Kazempour, M. & Sadler, T. D. (2015). Supporting changes in pre-service elementary teachers' beliefs, attitudes, and self-efficacy regarding science and the teaching of science: A Multi-Case Study. Teaching Education, 26(13), 247-271.

Kazempour, M., & Amirshokoohi, A. (2014). Authentic Science Inquiry Experience: Examining Professional Development Participants' Experiences and Reflections. Professional Development in Education, 40(5), 855-878.

Kazempour, M., Croft, S., & Folk, C. (2014). Exploring Elementary Teacher Candidates’ Home Inquiry Experiences and the Impact on their Science Knowledge and Attitude: A Self Study. International Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning, 20(2), 9-16.

Kazempour, M. (2014). I can’t teach science! A case study of an elementary pre-service teacher’s intersection of science experiences, beliefs, attitude, and self-efficacy. International Journal of Environmental & Science Education, 9, 77-96.

Kazempour, M., & Amirshokoohi, A. (2014). Transitioning to Inquiry-based Teaching: Exploring Teachers' Experiences in Overcoming Learning Bottlenecks. International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 9, 285-309.

Kazempour, M., & Amirshokoohi, A. (2013). Exploring Elementary Pre-Service Teachers' Experiences and Learning Outcomes in a Revised Inquiry-Based Science Lesson: An Action Research. Journal of Education and Learning, 2(2), 144-154.

Kazempour, M., & Amirshokoohi, A. (2013). Reforming an Undergraduate Environmental Science Course for Non-Science Majors. Journal of College Science Teaching, 43(2), 54-59.

Kazempour, M. (2013). The Interrelationship of Science Experiences, Beliefs, Attitudes, and Self-Efficacy: A case study of a pre-Service teacher with positive science attitude and high science teaching self-Efficacy. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 1(3), 106-124.

Donnelly, L. A., Kazempour, M., & Amirshokoohi, A. (2009). High school students’ perceptions of evolution instruction: Acceptance and evolution learning experiences. 39(5), 643-660.

Kazempour, M. (2009). Impact of Inquiry-Based Professional Development on Core Conceptions and Teaching Practices: A Case Study. 18(2), 56-68.

Ph.D., Curriculum & Instruction (Major: Science Education, Areas of Emphasis: Biology & Environmental Science), Indiana University Bloomington

M.S., Science & Environmental Education, Indiana University Bloomington

B.S., Biology, Santa Clara University

Recent Presentations

Kazempour, M. & Amirshokoohi, A. (2023). Reforming an Introductory Undergraduate Biology Course Through Collaborative Action Research. Annual Conference of the Association for Science Teacher Education, Salt Lake City, Utah, peer-reviewed/refereed. International.

Kazempour, M. (January 2022). "Enhancing Undergraduate Students’ Environmental Literacy through an Introductory Environmental Science Course," Annual Conference of the Association for Science Teacher Education, Greenville, South Carolina, peer-reviewed/refereed. International.

Kazempour, M. (2020). " Evolution Education in Iran: Shattering Myths about Teaching Evolution in an Islamic Country," Annual Conference of the Association for Science Teacher Education, San Antonio, TX, peer-reviewed/refereed. International.

Kazempour, M. (April 3, 2019). "Evolution in Iran: Shattering Myths about Teaching Evolution in an Islamic Country," HASS Division Colloquium, Penn State Berks HASS Division. Local.

Kazempour, M. (2018). "Preservice Teachers’ Authentic Inquiry Experiences and Reflections: A Multi-Case Study," Annual Conference of the Association for Science Teacher Education, Baltimore, MD, peer-reviewed/refereed. International.

Kazempour, M. (October 2018). "Authentic Inquiry Experiences of Elementary Pre-service Teachers.," Annual Convention of School Science and Mathematics Association, Little Rock, AK, peer-reviewed/refereed. National.

Kazempour, M. (January 2017). "Exploring Interrelationships Among Pre-service Teachers’ Beliefs, Attitude, and Self-efficacy: a pre-post study," Annual Conference of Association of Science Teacher Education, Des Moines, IA, peer-reviewed/refereed. International.