Stephen Skoropad


UC Irvine

Before attending UCI, I worked as a secondary science teacher within the southern Los Angeles area for seven years. In that time I co-developed a robotics program using a project based learning design, the goal of which was to provide students with hands-on engineering experiences to support them in pursuing college level science programs. Afterwards, I transitioned into the role of a science instructional specialist where I worked with numerous schools, teachers, as well as developed district level professional development and curriculum revolving around the next generation science standards. Throughout my time as an educator I worked with some of the most amazing and dedicated teachers, individuals who not only understood the students they worked with, but held themselves accountable to serving each student. Simultaneously, I saw individuals who were trying, but lacked the proper training before entering the profession to serve the students and communities that they were working with everyday.

These variables and factors led me on a journey in pursuit of understanding around teacher education and professional learning. My interest in UCI was driven by the universities’ focus on teacher learning, as well as my work with Dr. Beth Van Es as her graduate student researcher. Currently, I am working with Dr. Van Es to understand UC program’s implementation of social and racial justice through the lens of their teacher educators, supervisors, and preservice teacher candidates. Beyond this research focus, my future goals and interests revolve around understanding the support teacher’s require during their transition to the field, the induction period of their teacher learning. As well as understanding the supports and structures of professional learning for teachers currently in the field that supports them with their own pedagogical knowledge and understanding of their own biases towards students.