B.S. – East Carolina University, 1976 – Biology
M.A. – East Carolina University, 1978 – Science Education
Ph.D. – Pennsylvania State University, 1981 – Curriculum & Instruction, emphasis in Science Education


Dr. Koballa joined the faculty of Mercer University in July 2019 as Dean of the Tift College of Education. He previously served as Dean of the College of Education and Professor of Science Education at Georgia Southern University since July 2010. For 28 years prior to that service, Dr. Koballa held faculty and administrative positions at the University of Georgia and the University of Texas at Austin, including Head of the Department of Science Education at the University of Georgia. His work has been published in refereed journals, including the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, the International Journal of Science Education, and the Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences. He has authored and edited books and textbooks and published chapters in multiple books, including the Handbook of College Science Teaching and the Second International Handbook of Science Education. Dean Koballa received external funding from the National Science Foundation, the Janet H. and C. Harry Knowles Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Education, among others. In addition, he was elected President of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching and the Southeastern Association for Science Teacher Education by fellow researchers and President of the Georgia Association for Colleges of Teacher Education by university and college leaders.


Dr. Koballa taught courses in science education, biology, and general education. In addition, he mentored undergraduate and graduate students and directed theses and dissertations at the University of Georgia and the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Koballa has been recognized for his university teaching and mentoring accomplishments by the Association for Science Teacher Education, the Georgia Science Teachers Association, and the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education.


The research Dr. Koballa conducted early in his career examined science educators’ attitudes and was informed by social psychological theories. That research led to better understandings of the relationship between educators’ dispositions and their classroom practice. More recently, his research has involved greater collaboration with P-12 school and community partners and university faculty in a host of STEM disciplines. It has expanded to include investigations of educator mentoring, examinations of the influence of case-based pedagogy, and studies of conference participation on the thinking and practice of STEM educators.


Koballa, T. R. & Runge, D. M. (2019). Growing teachers for Georgia: The garden may be your own backyard. PAGEONE: Professional Association of Georgia Educators, 40(4), 16-19.
Chiappetta, E. L. & Koballa, T. R. (2015).  Science instruction in the middle and secondary schools (8th edition).  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall.
Deaton, C., Deaton, B., & Koballa, T. (2014). Teachers’ awareness of their diverse classrooms: The nature of elementary teachers’ reflections on their science teaching practice. Action in Teacher Education, 36(3), 211-233.
Koballa, T. R., & Bradbury, L. U. (2012). Mentoring in support of reform-based science teaching.  B. Fraser, K. Tobin, & C. McRobbie (Eds.), Second international handbook of science education (pp. 361-372). New York: Springer.
Mayes, R., & Koballa, T. R. (2012). Exploring the science framework: Making connections in math with the Common Core State Standards. The Science Teacher, 79(9), 27-34.
Koballa, T. R., & Demir, A. (2010).  Making high school science instruction effective. In J. Devitis  & L. Devitis (Eds.), Adolescent education: A reader (pp. 343-359).  New York: Peter Lang.
Koballa, T. R., Kittleson, J., Bradbury, L. U., & Dias, M. (2010). Teacher thinking associated with science specific mentor preparation. Science Education, 94(6), 1072-1091.
Koballa, T. R., Dias, M. J., & Atkinson, J. (2009). Science conference presenters’ images of inquiry.  School Science and Mathematics, 109(7), 403-414.
Glynn, S. M., & Koballa, T. R.  (2006).  Motivation to learn science. In J. Mintzes and W. Leonard (Eds.), Handbook of college science teaching (p. 25-32), Arlington, VA:  NSTA Press.
Koballa, T. R., & Tippins, D. J.  (2004). Cases in middle and secondary science education:  The promise and dilemmas (2nd edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Merrill/Prentice Hall.


Over the years, Dr. Koballa as provided service to professional organizations, government agencies, and school systems. Included among the professional organizations and government agencies for which Dr. Koballa has served in various roles are the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, the National Science Teachers Association, the Georgia Association for Colleges of Teacher Education, and the Georgia Department of Education. His recent service to Georgia school systems focused on efforts to develop and support Teaching as a Profession career pathways in several Southeast Georgia high schools.