Dr. Jacob Pleasants is a former high school physics and physical science teacher. He earned his Ph.D. in science education at Iowa State University and ran the secondary science teacher education program at Keene State College in New Hampshire before joining the University of Oklahoma. At OU, Dr. Pleasants teaches undergraduate secondary science education courses as well as graduate courses in STEM education.
Dr. Pleasants researches how to prepare teachers to incorporate engineering and technology into their science instruction in meaningful ways. Motivating this work is the need to prepare teachers who can design engineering instruction that is highly engaging for students while also authentically representing the discipline. He is currently developing and studying instructional materials that build teachers’ understanding of what engineering is, how engineering works, and how it is different from, yet related to, science. He is also creating and analyzing novel research tools that can be used to explore how teachers understand the nature of engineering work.