Stacy Olitsky, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Office: Merion Hall 252
Phone: (610)-660-3284

Stacy Olitsky is an Associate Professor in the Department of Teacher Education. She teaches courses in science education and the sociological foundations of education. She earned a Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania with a joint degree in Education and Sociology. Her research interests include applying sociological theory and research methods to the study of urban science education, the relationship between identity and learning, social and emotional engagement in science classrooms, STEM teacher retention in high-need schools, and collaborations between science and math faculty members and K-12 teachers. 


Wesleyan University, B.A.
University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D.

Courses Taught

  • Science in the Elementary School
  • Historical and Contemporary Perspectives in Education
  • Schools in Society
  • Math, Science and Technology


Olitsky, S., Becker, E.A., Jayo, I., Vinogradov, P., & Montcalmo, J. (2018). Constructing "authentic" science: Results from a university/high school collaboration integrating digital storytelling and social networking. Research in Science Education. DOI: 10.1007/s11165-018-9699-6

Olitsky, S.  (2017).  Crossing the boundaries: Solidarity, identity and mutual learning in a K-20 partnership. Science Education, 101(3), 399–425. DOI: 10.1002/sce.21272

Olitsky, S. (2015). Beyond “acting white”: Affirming academic identities by establishing symbolic boundaries through talk. Urban Education, 50(8), 961-988, DOI: 10.1177/0042085914536999

Olitsky, S. (2015). Facilitating changes in college teaching practices: Instructional reform, identity conflict, and professional community in a K-20 partnership. Research in Science Education, 45(4), 625-646. DOI: 10.1007/s11165-014-9441-y

Olitsky, S. (2013). We teach as we are taught: Exploring the potential for emotional climate to enhance elementary science preservice teacher education. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 8(3), 561-570.

Olitsky, S. & Milne, C. (2012). Understanding engagement in science education: The psychological and the social. In B. J. Fraser, K. Tobin, & C. McRobbie (Eds.) Second International Handbook of Science Education. Dordrecht: Springer.

Olitsky, S. (2011). The role of fictive kinship relationships in mediating classroom competition and supporting reciprocal mentoring. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 6(4), 883-894.

Olitsky, S., Loman, L., Gardner, J., & Billups, M. (2010). Coherence, contradiction and the development of school science identities. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 47(10), 1209-1228.

Olitsky, S. (2007). Promoting student engagement in science: Interaction rituals and the pursuit of a community of practice. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 44(1), 33-56.

Olitsky, S. (2007). Facilitating identity formation, group membership, and learning in science classrooms: What can be learned from out of field teaching in an urban school? Science Education, 91(2), 201-221.

Olitsky, S. (2007). Identity, interaction ritual, and students’ strategic use of science language. In W.-M. Roth & K. Tobin (Eds.), Science, Learning, Identity: Sociocultural and Cultural-historical Perspectives. Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

Olitsky, S. (2006). Structure, agency, and the development of students’ identities as learners. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 1(4), 745-766.


Grants and Awards

Co-PI for NSF Noyce Grant: "Investigating the Relationship between Social Interaction, Teacher Identity, and Commitment to Teaching in High-Need Urban Schools." With Sandra Fillebrown (PI), 2014

National Association for Research in Science Teaching, Outstanding Dissertation Award 2006

University of Pennsylvania, Phi Delta Kappa Tau Chapter, Outstanding Dissertation Award 2006