Hedy Moscovici: Florida State Alumna Honored for Contributions to Science Education

Hedy Moscovici was recently selected as a Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for her research and service to professional organizations. The professor of education at California State University, Dominguez Hills has focused her research on the teaching of mathematics and science at the elementary, secondary, and college levels and the professional development of an international community of teachers. She will be recognized at AAAS’s annual conference to be held in Washington D.C. in February.

Professor of education Hedy Moscovici

Professor of education Hedy Moscovici

Moscovici was also recognized with the Distinguished Educator Alumna Award by the College of Education at Florida State University. A native of Bucharest, Romania, she earned her doctorate in science education at FSU in 1994 and was honored at the university’s homecoming celebration last November.

Moscovici arrived at CSU Dominguez Hills in 1999 after teaching science education and biology at Western Washington University. She immediately felt at home when welcomed by the diverse campus community.

“I felt like I belonged,” says Moscovici. “You can be any person you are and belong here. I loved the campus and the faculty who interviewed me. The students are amazing. They are so rich [in diversity], so opinionated, with very strong and different backgrounds. They know who they are. We have fantastic discussions.”

Moscovici’s love of science and math have propelled her to find the best possible ways to prepare teachers to bring these topics to students in underserved populations. Her extensive research and writings on urban pedagogy include bilingual science education, women in leadership positions in science education, and the use of Theatre of the Oppressed as a tool in science methods classes. She says that one of the solutions to math and science phobia is engaging, inspiring, and exciting students’ minds using these subjects.

“I am really concerned about the science and math phobias of the American population,” says Moscovici. “There is a disconnect between what we know about how students learn and how science and mathematics are taught. We need to build self-confidence and push kids to think. In my experience, I’ve never seen a kid who doesn’t think. So [we need to] use their potential.”

Moscovici has authored and served as primary investigator for numerous grants in the School of Education that benefit teacher training programs. She has served as lead member of the science team in the Quality Educator Grant (QED) at CSU Dominguez Hills; worked on the immersion task force for a System-wide Change for All Learners and Educators (SCALE) grant supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF); and was primary investigator for a supplemental science grant under the Los Angeles Urban Systemic Program. She also has co-directed numerous Boeing grants that have served to support pre-service science teachers’ use of science equipment and materials in their larger CSU Dominguez Hills community while partnering with local schools.

Moscovici cites “cohesiveness among community, schools, districts, universities, and global perspectives” as a path to success among teachers and students.

“Together we can help students believe in their ability to learn math and science,” she says, “by making an effort with co-developing materials, co-teaching, and co-researching. Each in their own field [can] move things forward by being on the same page with collaboration, cooperation, and collegiality.”

Moscovici won the Faculty Excellence Award for Research from the CSU Dominguez Hills School of Education in 2002. That year, she was also recognized as an Exceptional Invited Guest to the Summer Schools Program by the Institute of Educational Sciences in Bucharest as part of the “Education 2000+” grant in Sinaia, Romania. In 2006, she worked as a consultant with mathematics departments and the Ministry of Education and Science in Armenia to develop syllabi and framework for a new mathematics curriculum.

Moscovici serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Research in Science Teaching and the teacher education section of Science Education. She is a board member of the Association for Science Teacher Education, where she chairs the equity committee. In addition, she serves as board member for Centers for Ocean Science Education Excellence COSEE-West, which is focused on building cohesion between marine biology research and school curricula. She has recently returned from the annual conference of the Association for Science Teacher Education  in Minneapolis, where she presented a session on “Theatre of the Oppressed” as a tool for self-reflection in science methods classes: Lessons learned.”

For more information about teacher education at CSU Dominguez Hills, click here.

Comments

  1. Irene Osisioma says:

    The news has gone round; Hedy has passed on to the world beyond. But who was Hedy Moscovici?

    Hedy was an astute educator, who committed her life to the business of effective instruction. She understood learning and was not shy to express her beliefs about how teaching should be done to make it happen meaningfully.

    She believed in creating a relaxing, trusting and safe classroom environment that is conducive for learning. That is why she infused jokes and fun into her instruction. She made her students so comfortable that she sometimes asked them to prepare drama skits to mimic her instructional style and general demeanor in the classroom.

    Hedy was a very curious person and that is probably why she believed so much in teaching through inquiry. She devoted all her instructional energy to the use of inquiry based teaching and learning.

    Hedy loved science so much that she devoted most of her time, energy and resources in equipping our science classroom in CSUDH. She continuously picked up science materials as she walked the streets, and traveled around. Our science lab is full of artifacts from her trips.
    She was very kind and generous. She habitually had something to give to anyone she encountered. I still have the cans of soup and packs of cereal that she brought my way on a regular basis.

    She believed in shared power as exemplified in her ability to empower students and as expressed in her article about power relationship.

    Hedy was a great teacher. She touched the lives of many, and did so no matter how short the time she had to know them.

    It was a blessing and an honor to have worked with such an astute educator with such a great mind as Dr. Hedy Moscovici.

    Hedy touched my life in such an immeasurable way that I can never forget her.

    Even though she has passed on, yet she lives in the minds of those hundreds of lives that she touched.

    Although her life has ended, yet her story will continue to be told by the multitude of people who encountered her one way or the other as she passed through this mortal world.

    Rest in Perfect Peace my friend, sister and mentor!

    By Irene Osisioma
    Division of Teacher Education

  2. mutindi ndunda says:

    The passing away of Dr. Hedy Moscovici is such a great loss to all of us who knew this wonderful woman! We will forever miss her voice!