James D. Ellis, PhD

Associate Professor
Accreditation Coordinator, Middle Science Education Program Coordinator
Primary office:
785-864-9847
Joseph R. Pearson Hall
Room 346
University of Kansas
1122 West Campus Road
Lawrence, KS 66045-3101


Jim Ellis, associate professor, joined the KU faculty in the fall of 1997. Prior to joining the KU faculty, he worked for two years as a program officer at the National Science Foundation in the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education, for thirteen years as a senior staff associate at the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, and for three years as a visiting assistant professor in the Science Education Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Ellis also taught science for three years in the junior high in Garden City, Kansas. He earned his B.A. degree in Zoology, his M.A. degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and his Ph.D. in Education, all from the University of Kansas.

Teaching

I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in science education for middle and secondary science teachers.

Teaching Interests

  • Teacher Education
  • Accreditation
  • Science teaching
  • Science education research
  • Science instruction
  • Technology education
  • Secondary Teacher Education

Research

Ellis’s primary research interest is the improvement of science instruction. During the past thirty years while at BSCS and KU, he has received multiple grants from the National Science Foundation and private foundations, related to science education. He has conducted research projects to design, develop, test, and implement a nationwide network of professional development sites for the preparation of science teachers to use educational technology. He led an NSF project to prepare elementary teachers throughout Colorado to implement inquiry-based science curriculum and instruction. While at BSCS, he led efforts to develop a middle school health science curriculum, to research and develop a multi-media program for preparing elementary science teachers, and to complete a design study for the use of technology in elementary science programs. While at KU, Ellis has collaborated with faculty in the Center for Research on Learning, in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching, and in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences on multiple grants related to the improvement of science instruction, especially for special needs students and gifted students.

Ellis has been author or co-author on more than 25 books and instructional materials, more than 30 articles in journals, including the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Science Education, and School Science and Mathematics, and has given more than 150 presentations at professional meetings.

Research Interests

  • Accreditation of Education
  • Assessment of Teacher Performance
  • Educational reform
  • Education Policy
  • Science Teaching
  • Science Learning
  • Scientific Argumentation
  • Science Discourse
  • Science Education Standards
  • Educational Technology

Service

Ellis's primary interest is in supporting the enhancement of science teaching and learning PKL-12. He is available to provide professional development and consultation on course and program improvement in science. He has experience as a leader in externally funded projects to conduct research and development in science instruction, educational technology, scientific argumentation, professional learning communities, next generation science standards, and blended and online science education.

Selected Publications

Craig-Hare, J., Ellis, J. D., Bulgren, J., Kretschmer, I., & Frey, B. B . (in press). Learning Science with Social Media. In . (Ed.), D. Tsybulsky & I. Levin (Eds.), Digital Tools and Solutions for Inquiry-Based STEM.  Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference (IGI Global).

Ault, M., Hare, J. Craig, & Ellis, J. D. (2016). Using Reason Racer to Support Scientific Argumentation in Middle School Science Instruction. In D. Flavio (Ed.), Improving K-12 STEM Education Outcomes through Technological Integration (pp. 399-431). IGI Global Disseminator of Knowledge.

Bulgren, J., & Ellis, J. D. (2016). . Scientific Argumentation Routine. Content Enhancement Series available from Center for Research on Learning, University of Kansas.

Craig-Haare, J., Rowland, A., Ellis, J., Bulgren, J., Ault, M., & Bradley, B. (2016). Content Enhancement Series by Center for Research on Learning; Available on CRL website. Argumentation Essay Scoring Rubric.

Ellis, J. D., Ault, M., & Craig-Hare, J. (2016). Reason Racer.

Frey, B., Ellis, J. D., Bulgren, J. A., Hare, J. Craig, & Ault, M. (2015). Development of a test of scientific argumentation. Electronic Journal of Science Education, 19(4), 1-18.

Ellis, J. D., Rowland, A., Ault, M., Hare, J. Craig, Bulgren, J., & Bradley, B. (2015). Annual Report to DRL- Discovery Research K-12 of the National Science Foundation for Enhancing Argumentation with Social Media: Supporting Teacher Professional Learning and Student Science Practice (NSF award #1316799).

Bulgren, J., & Ellis, J. D (2015). The Argumentation and Evaluation Guide: Encouraging NGSS-based critical thinking. Science Scope, 38(7), 78-85.

Marilyn, A., Jana, C., Bruce, F., James, E. D., & Janis, B. (2015). The Effectiveness of Reason Racer, a Game Designed to Engage Middle School Students in Scientific Argumentation. Journal of Research in Technology in Education, 47(1), 21-40.

Bulgren, J. A., Ellis, J. D., & Marquis, J. G. (2014). The Uses and Effectiveness of an Argumentation and Evaluation Intervention in Science Classes. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 23(1), 82-97. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10956-013-9452-x/fulltext.html?wt_mc=alerts:TOCjournals

Bulgren, J., Ault, M., Ellis, J., Frey, B., Craig-Hare, J., & Adams, D. (2013). Evidence Game -- Annual Report to DRK-12 of the National Science Foundation.

Bulgren, J., & Ellis, J. D. (2012). Argumentation and evaluation intervention in science classes: Teaching and learning with Toulmin. In M. Swe Khine (Ed.), Perspectives on Scientific Argumentation: Theory, Practice and Research (pp. 135-154). New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Ellis, J. D., & Bulgren, J. (2010). Final report for Professional Development Materials to Develop Student Knowledge and Skills of Scientific Argumentation.

Heppert, J., Ellis, J. D., & Gay, S. (2008). Annual report for Noyce Scholarship Project.

Otto, W. H., Larive, C. K., Mason, S. L., Robinson, J. B., Heppert, J. A., & Ellis, J. D. (2005). Using Visible Spectrophotometers to Study Speciation in an Inquiry Laboratory Environment. Journal of Chemical Education, 82(10), 1552-1554.

Ellis, J. D. (2003). Influence of National Science Education Standards on the Science Curriculum. In . (Ed.), What Is the Influence of the National Science Education Standards?: Reviewing the Evidence, A Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Lonsbury, J. G., & Ellis, J. D. (2003). Science history as a means to teach nature of science concepts: Using the development of understanding related to mechanisms of inheritance. Electronic Journal of Science Education, 7(3).

Heppert, J., Ellis, J., Robinson, J., Wofer, A., & Mason, S. (2002). A problem-solving approach to the laboratory for an undergraduate course in introductory chemistry. Journal of College Science Teaching, 31(5), 322-326.

Ellis, J. D. (2002). Science Teaching Standards for Kansas State Department of Education.

Ellis, J. D., Friedman-Nimz, R., & Harnden, R. (2001). Critical Problem Solving in Science and Technology. http://www.soe.ku.edu/sites/science_ed/CPS.htm

Ellis, J. D. (2001). A dilemma in reforming science teacher education: Responding to students' concerns or striving for high standards. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 12(3), 253-276.

(1998). Decisions in Teaching Elementary School Science. Agency for Instructional Technology.

(1998). Middle Childhood Science: Standards for National Board Certification. Washington, DC: NBPTS.

(1998). NSTA Standards for Science Teacher Preparation.

(1998). Program Announcement and Guidelines for Elementary, Secondary, and informal Education. Washington, DC: National Science Foundation.

(1997). Review of Instructional Materials for Middle School Science. Washington, DC: National Science Foundation.

Ellis, J. D. (1995). Fostering change in science education. In . (Ed.), Innovating and Evaluating Science Education: NSF Evaluation Forums 1992-94. Washington, DC: National Science Foundation.

Ellis, J. D. (1993). Constructing sustainable reform in science and technology education. In A. Gordon, M. Hacker, & M. de Vries (Eds.), Advanced Technology in Technology Education. New York: Springer/Verlag.

Enochs, L. G., Riggs, L. G., & Ellis, J. D. (1993). The development and partial validation of microcomputer utilization in teaching efficacy beliefs instrument in a science setting. School Science and Mathematics, 93(4), 257-263.

Ellis, J. D., & Maxwell, D. E. (1993). Colorado Science Teacher Enhancement Project (CO-STEP).

Ellis, J. D., & Backe, K. A. (1993). Teacher development modules (TDM) for elementary school science.

(1992). Teaching About the History and Nature of Science and Technology: A Curriculum Framework, Colorado Springs, CO: BSCS.

(1992). Teaching About the History and Nature of Science and Technology: Background Papers, Colorado Springs, CO: BSCS.

Ellis, J. D., & Kuerbis, P. J. (1992). Implementing microcomputers in science teaching. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 3(3), 65-75.

Ellis, J. D. (1992). Teacher development in advanced educational technology. Journal of Science and Technology Education, 1(1), 49-66.

Bybee, R. W., Ellis, J. D., & Matthews, M. R. (1992). Teaching about the history and nature of science and technology. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 29(4), 327-330.

Bybee, R. W., Ellis, J. D., & Matthews, M. R. (Eds.). (1992). Journal of Research in Science Teaching 29(4)

Ellis, J. D., Pereversev, L., & Staupe, A. (1991). Environmental literacy: A global challenge. In M. Schaffer & S. Charp (Eds.), Technology's Role in Nurturing Educational and Societal Innovation: A Report of the East/West Invitational Seminar on New Technologies in Education. Bloomfield, CT: International Technologies Exchange.

(1991). Science for Life and Living: Integrating Science, Technology, and Health (grades K-6). Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.

Ellis, J. D., & Kuerbis, P. J. (1991). A curriculum for preparing science teachers to use microcomputers. School Science and Mathematics, 91(6), 247-254.

Ellis, J. D. (1991). ENLIST Micros Phase III: Models for Establishing ENLIST Micros Teacher Centers. Journal of Computing in Teacher Education, 8(2), 3-14.

Bybee, R. W., Powell, J. C., Ellis, J. D., Gliese, J. R., Parisi, L., & Singleton, L. (1991). Integrating the history and nature of science and technology in science and social studies curriculum. Science Education, 71(1), 143-155.

Ellis, J. D. (1991). The BSCS perspective on preparing science teachers to use educational technology. SIGCUE Outlook, 21(1), 17-32.

Ellis, J. D., & Goulding, P. G. (1991). Evaluation of ENLIST Micros III: Teacher centers for improving the use of microcomputers in science instruction.

Ellis, J. D. (1990). Preparing science teachers for the information age. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 9(4), 55-70.

Ellis, J. D. (Ed.). (1989). Information Technology and Science Education: 1988 Yearbook of the Association for the Education of Teachers in Science (J. D. Ellis, Ed.). Columbus, OH: SMEAC Information Reference Center, The Ohio State University.

(1989). New Designs for Elementary School Science and Health, Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.

Ellis, J. D. & Kuerbis, P. J. (Eds.). (1989). ENLIST Micros. Danbury, CT: EME Corporation.

Ellis, J. D. (1989). An evaluation of a project for preparing science teachers to use micro-computers. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 9(1), 51-64.

Baird, W. E., Ellis, J. D., & Kuerbis, P. J. (1989). ENLIST Micros: Training science teachers to use microcomputers. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 26(7), 587-598.

Ellis, J. D. & Kuerbis, P. J. (Eds.). (1989). ENLIST Micros: Video Programs. Danbury, CT: EME.

Ellis, J. D. (1988). Improving science instruction with microcomputers. Florida Science Teacher, 4(1), 14-15.

Crovello, T. J., & Ellis, J. D. (1988). Computers in biology education: The United States. In T. J. Crovello (Ed.), Computers and Biology Education: The Expanding Universe (pp. 81-104). Paris, France: ICSU Press.

Ellis, J. D. (1988). Microcomputer-based laboratories in biology education. In T. J. Crovello (Ed.), Computers and Biology Education: The Expanding Universe (pp. 43-60). Paris, France: ICSU Press.

Ellis, J. D. (1987). Improving science instruction with microcomputers. In . (Ed.), Research Matters..To the Science Teacher. National Association for Research in Science Teaching.

Ellis, J. D., & Landes, N. M. (1987). Integrating biology education and health education: The BSCS perspective. In W. V. Mayer (Ed.), New Trends in Biology Teaching (Vol. V). UNESCO.

(1987). Science and health in the elementary school. A technology-oriented educational program. Part one: The design project.

(1987). Science and health in the elementary school. Requirements specifications for educational technology. Part III – specifications for courseware.

(1987). Science and health in the elementary school. Requirements specifications for educational technology. Part IV – specifications for video.

(1987). Science and health in the elementary school. Software review report: Part one—software for student use.

(1987). Science and health in the elementary school. Software review report: Part two—software for teacher use.

(1987). Science and health in the elementary school. Requirements specifications for educational technology: Part II – specifications for a curriculum.

Ellis, J. D. (1986). Building the S/T/S curriculum: The BSCS experience and perspective. In R. K. James (Ed.), 1985 AETS Yearbook. Columbus, OH: SMEAC Information Reference Center, The Ohio State University.

Ellis, J. D., & Kuerbis, P. J. (1986). Computer literacy for science teachers. In L. W. Trowbridge & R. W. Bybee (Eds.), Becoming a Secondary School Science Teacher(4th ed.) (pp. 150-153).

Ellis, J. D. (1986). The BSCS and educational computing in the sciences. The American Biology Teacher, 48(2).

Ellis, J. D. (1984). A comparison of methods for measuring the degree of implementation of an innovative science program. In L. J. Bethel (Ed.), Research and Curriculum Development in Science Education. Austin: Science Education Center, University of Texas.

Ellis, J. D., & Kuerbis, P. J. (1984). Educational technology: A force for change. In R. W. Bybee, et al. (Eds.), 1984 NSTA Yearbook: Redesigning Science and Technology Education. Washington, DC: NSTA.

Ellis, J. D. (1984). A rationale for using computers in science education. The American Biology Teacher, 46(4).

Ellis, J. D. (Ed.). (1984). Genetic resistance to pesticides: computer simulation (experimental edition). Colorado Springs, CO: BSCS.

Ellis, J. D. (Ed.). (1983). Innovations: The Social Consequences of Science and Technology Program. Biomedical Technology. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.

Ellis, J. D. (Ed.). (1983). Innovations: The Social Consequences of Science and Technology Program. Computers and Privacy. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.

Ellis, J. D. (Ed.). (1983). Innovations: The Social Consequences of Science and Technology Program. Science, Technology, and Society. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.

Bethel, L. J., Ellis, J. D., & Barufaldi, J. P. (1982). The effects of an NSF institute on inservice teachers views of science and attitudes toward environmental science education. Science Education, 66(4).

Academic Degrees

  • Ph.D., Education, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, 1979
  • M.A., Curriculum and Instruction, University of Kansas, Lawrence, 1974
  • B.A., Zoology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, 1970

Specializations

Middle and Secondary Science Education


Associate professor Diane Nielsen involved in $120 million project to overhaul how reading is taught to children by 2015
School of Education is 10th among public universities for its master’s and doctoral programs
—U.S. News & World Report
3.35: average GPA of students admitted to teacher education program
All teacher education programs accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
All teacher education programs accredited by the Kansas State Department of Education
Alumni have been named Kansas Teacher of the Year
Alumni have received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and the Horizon Award
KU Today
Connect with KU Curriculum & Teaching

KU Curriculum and Teaching Facebook page KU School of Education YouTube Channel KU School of Education Twitter Feed KU School of Ed instagram icon