image of Eliza Bobek

Eliza Bobek, Ph.D.

Clinical Associate Professor, Co-coordinator - Bachelor of Arts in Education

Fine Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
School of Education
Dandeneau Hall - 106

Research Interests

STEM teaching and learning, Pre-service teacher preparation, Neuromyths in learning, Impact of technology on teaching and learning


  • Ph D: Cognitive Studies in Education, (2012), Columbia University, Teachers College - New York, NY
  • MS: Elementary Education, (2004), Brooklyn College, City University of New York - New York, NY
  • BA, (2002), Barnard College, Columbia University - New York, New York


Eliza Bobek is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education. She is a core faculty member in the UTeach program, a teacher preparation program for STEM majors with a focus on inquiry-based and project-based instruction. Her interests in STEM began as an undergraduate majoring in Neuroscience and working in the Neurobiology lab of Dr. Rae Silver of Columbia University, studying biological rhythms. Bobek began her teaching career as a New York City Teaching Fellow in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn with a deep commitment to educational equity and opportunity. She has also taught middle school science at the school for New Explorations in Science, Technology, and Math, The School at Columbia University, and at The Packer Collegiate Institute. Her work in the classroom led her to the Cognitive Studies in Education doctoral program at Teachers College, spurred by a desire to use research to improve educational practices. She received a Spencer Research Training Grant to support her doctoral work, which explored the use of visual explanations to understand complex processes in science. At UMass Lowell, Bobek continues to explore opportunities to examine teaching, learning, and pre-service teacher preparation. She has extensive experience with online learning, designing curriculum K-12, providing professional development to K-12 teachers, and integrating data and technology into the classroom.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Spencer Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2005) - Teachers College Columbia University
  • New York City Teaching Fellowship (2002)
  • Howard Hughes Research Fellowship (2001) - Columbia University
  • Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) (1999) - Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University

Selected Publications

  • Bobek, E., Tversky, T. (2016). Creating Visual Explanations Improves Learning (1:1 pp. 1-14). Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications
  • Bobek, E., Tversky, T. (2014). Creating Visual Explanations Improves Learning. Proceedings of the 36 th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society
  • Bobek, E., Corter, J. (2010). The Effect of Problem Difficulty and Student Expertise on the Utility of Provided Diagrams in Probability Problem Solving. Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society 

Selected Presentations

  • Introduction to STEM Teaching:  An Exploratory Course Focusing on Field Based Experiences - NE-Association for Science Teacher Education Conference,, 2017 - Burlington VT
  • Exploring TeachLIVE: Using a Virtual, Simulated Environment to Increase pCreating Visual Explanations Improves Learning Pre-service Teacher Effectiveness - UMass Lowell Faculty Symposium on Teaching, Learning, Research, and Creative Works., 2017 - Lowell MA
  • Building STEM Majors’ Capacity for Delivering Inquiry-based Mathematics and Science Lessons through UTeach - Massachusetts STEM Summit, 2016 - Worcester Ma
  • Drawing to Learn in Science - NE- Association for Science Teacher Education Conference, 2015 - New York, NY
  • Making the Most of your Apprentice Teaching Experience - UTeach National Conference, 2015 - Austin TX
  • Explaining the Invisible: Generating Explanations of Invisible Phenomena - National conference on Improving Middle School Science Instruction Using Cognitive Science, 2013 - Washington, DC
  • Structure and Function in Visual and Verbal Explanations of a Complex System - Gordon Research Conference on Visualization in Science and Education, 2009 - Oxford UK
  • Inhibition of Nitric Oxide Attenuates Light-induced Phase Advances, but Differentially Affects FOS and mPer1 Expression in Mice - Annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, 2002 - Orlando FL