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Christopher Emdin

Professional Background

Educational Background

B.S. in Physical Anthropology/ Biology/ Chemistry, Lehman College (2000)
M.S. in Natural Sciences, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2003)
Project: Extracellular Matrix and Mesenchymal Cell Signaling
PhD in Urban Education, Graduate Center of the City University of New York, (2007)
Dissertation: Exploring the contexts of Urban Science Classrooms: Cogenerative dialogues, Coteaching and Cosmopolitanism
- Specialization in Science, Mathematics and Technology
- Dean K. Harrison University Fellow

Scholarly Interests

Issues of race, class, and diversity in urban science classrooms
The use of new theoretical frameworks to transform science education
Urban science education reform

Selected Publications

Emdin, C. (2007). Exploring the contexts of urban Science Classrooms: Part 1-Investigating corporate and communal practice. Cultural Studies of  Science Education (2) 2, 319-341

Emdin, C. (2007). Exploring the contexts of Urban science Classrooms: Part 2- The role of rituals in communal practice. Cultural Studies of  Science Education (2) 2, 351-373

Emdin, C. (2008) .The Three  C’s for urban science education.. Phi Delta Kappan, Vol. 89, No. 10, June 2008, pp. 772-775. June 2008

Emdin, C. (In press)  Affiliation and Alienation : Hip hop, rap and urban science education. Journal of Curriculum Studies

honors and awards

Strage Prize
  • The Prize supports the production of a web video to highlight original and innovative work of a junior faculty member at Teachers College. For more information, visit this link.

  • ASTE (Association for Science Teacher Education): Best paper on Innovation in Teaching Science Teachers
  • PDK-Phi Delta Kappa International Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation
  • PDK -Phi Delta Kappa 2008-09 class Emerging Leader


  • Co-author on application for U.S Department of Education Upward Bound grant for students with “high academic risk of failure” #84.07A and 84.07M (in process)

  • Fund For Teachers Grant for studying the impact of science education leadership in urban schools $5000 Awarded June 2005

  • Advisory Board members for NSF grant: Girl Talk: Using cogenerative dialogues to expand girls agency in science. P.I Kate Scantlebury Ph.D, University of Delaware (In Process)

  • External reviewer for NSF grant on studies of African American teachers in science. P.I Jianzhong Xu Ph.D, Mississippi State University


service to p-12 community

Physics and Chemistry Teacher, grades 9-12              September 2004 – June 2006   
Marie Curie High School, Bronx, NY
  • Designed and developed interdisciplinary science curriculum immersed in regional, city, and state technology, mathematics and science standards
  • Implemented cogenerative dialogues in all science classes as a foundation of effective science instruction for urban students
  • Developed critical thinking skills through hands on physics and chemistry activities
  • Focused learning objectives to improve science fluency, critical thinking, reading comprehension, and writing skills
  • Grounded all lessons, units, and projects in technology and multimedia resources 
  • Utilized Power-point presentations in all conceptual physics lessons
  • Developed effective distributed classroom management policies that infused students modes of learning
  • Established connections across physics and chemistry curriculum
  • Collaborated with community and museum educational programs such as the American Museum of Natural History and Queens Hall of Science
  • Prepared students for success on New York State Regents examinations.
Science and Math Teacher, grades 7 - 8                         September 2002 - August 2004                                               
Middle School 219, Bronx, NY
  • Implemented general science curriculum that infused biology, chemistry and physical sciences
  • Incorporated students ways of knowing into the curriculum and mentored student co-teachers
  • Enhanced “Science in the Community” curriculum: Utilizing science examples from students’ neighborhoods in general and   physical science classes
  • Integrated technology and multimedia resources into lessons via Power-Point, Excel and various multi-media tools
  • Established strategies for working with disadvantaged youth on state wide 8th grade science exam
Science and Math Teacher, grades  6 - 7                      September 2000 - August 2002
Community Intermediate School 148, Bronx, NY  
  • Implemented general science / physical science curriculum with hands on activities
  • Developed “Science in the Community” curriculum: Utilizing science examples from students’ neighborhoods into curriculum used throughout school district
  • Integrated technology and multimedia resources into lessons via Power-Point, Excel and various multi-media tools
  • Established strategies for working with disadvantaged youth on state wide exams
  • Established Science club for students that presented experiments and investigations at state wide science fair in Albany N.Y

professional presentations

Emdin, C. (2008) Pathways to New Possibilities: Creolized Science, Solidarity and Hybrid Idetities. Natinal Association for Research in Science Teaching.

Emdin, C. (2008) Access to Science for Marginalized Groups through Hip hop culture and Cogenerative Dialogues. Penn Ethnography Forum. Philadelphia, PA

Emdin, C. (2008) Providing Science Agency to Marginalized Students in Urban Classrooms Through Neo-Indigenous Cosmopolitanism. Paper presented at American Educational Research Association. New York, NY

Emdin,C. (2008). A search for student culture in the Science Curriculum: Focusing on Hip hop and science education. Paper presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies. New York, NY

Emdin, C. (2008). Producing Success in Science Through Culturally adaptive Teaching and Learning. Paper presented at the Association for Science Teacher Education.  St. Louis, Missouri

Emdin, C. (2008). Hybridized teacher and Student identities, Creolized Science and Emotionality in Urban Science Classrooms. Paper presented at the Association for Science Teacher Education.  St. Louis, Missouri

Emdin, C. (2007). Computers, Digital Camcorders, and Voice Analysis Software in the Urban Science Classroom. Workshop at  NYSCATE (New York State Association for Computing and  Technology in Education). Rochester, NY 

Emdin, C. (Oct 2007) Equity in Mathematics and Science Education: Critical Issues in Leadership Deveopment. Mentoring in Academia. Portland, oregon

Emdin, C. (2007). Providing agency for othered populations in urban science classrooms: Attaining neo-indegenous cosmopolitanism. Paper presented at New York University Sharing Our Success Conference.  New York, NY.

Emdin, C. (2007). Coteaching as a means to facilitate collaboration and communalism. Paper presented at the University of Pennsylvania Ethnography in Education in Trying Times. Pennsylvania, PA

Emdin, C. (2007). Neo-indigenous cosmopolitanism: New methods for teaching in urban settings. Paper presented at the annual meeting for the American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum studies. Chicago, IL

Emdin, C. (2007). Rethinking professional development relationships: coteaching as a means for investigating, changing and renewing praxis. Paper presented at the National Association for Research in Science Teaching. New Orleans, NO

Emdin, C. (2007). Cogenerative dialogues and School Culture: The emergence of democratic practice within an urban school. Paper presented at the Annual meeting of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. New York, NY.

Emdin, C. (2007). Creating new paradigms for teacher practices in science classrooms. Paper presented at the Association for Science Teacher Education. Clearwater, FLA.

Emdin, C. (2006). Cogenerative dialogue in the physics and living environment classrooms. Paper presented at New York University Sharing Our Success Conference.  New York, NY.

 Emdin, C. (2006). Utilizing the mutually sustaining nature of student rituals to support African American and Latino/a science success. Paper presented at the annual meeting for the American Educational Researchers Association. San Francisco, CA

Tobin, K., Emdin, C., Bayne, G., & Lehner, E. (2006). Expanding the ways in which students participate in science education.    Paper-set presented at the annual meeting for the National Association for Research in Science Teaching. San Francisco, CA.

 Emdin, C. (2006). Approaching democratic science classrooms: Cogenerative dialogue as a cosmopolitan act. Paper presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies. Berkeley, CA

 Emdin, C. (2006). Expanding students’ roles in urban social science and science education: Cogenerative dialogues as seedbeds for learning science. Paper presented at University of Pennsylvania Ethnography Forum. Philadelphia Pennsylvania

Emdin, C. (2006). Hip hop, symbolic violence and war: Negotiating the terrain of cultural misalignment within inner city schools. Paper presented at Teachers College : Threat N Youth Cultural studies Conference.  New York, NY

Emdin, C. (2005). Engaging in ethnographic research within the science classroom. Paper presented at Queens College Ethnography in education forum.  Queens, NY

Emdin, C. (2005). Utilizing technology in the science classroom. Paper presented at New York State Association for Computing and Technology in Education. Albany, NY 

Emdin, C. (2005). Implementing cogenerative dialogues in new science classrooms in urban high schools. Paper presented at Third Annual New Visions Small Schools Conference. Bronx, NY

professional experiences

Assistant Professor of Science Education,  2007 - Present
Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY
  • Course assignments: Physical science methods, Urban Science Education Seminar, Methods of Research in Science Education, Multicultural science education, Physical Science Curriculum and Methods
Instructor and Coordinator, Science Education Program, September 2006 – June 2007
Lehman College, City University of New York, Bronx, NY
  • Course assignments: Methods of Science Instruction in Middle and High School, Methods of Research in Education
  • Supervise middle and high school science teachers/student teachers in classrooms
  • Supervise students’ thesis for completion of Masters in science education
  • Plan and coordinate courses offered in Masters in science education program
  • Advise graduate and undergraduate students in science education program
  • Member of Middle and High school education curriculum committee
Adjunct Professor of Science Education, Elementary Education Program,  Spring 2007
Queens College, City University of New York, Queens, NY
  • Advise undergraduate students in science education teaching assignments
  • Course assignments: Methods of Elementary Science Education

active professional organizations

National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) 2005 - present
American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2004- present
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) 2004- present
Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE)  2006- present

MSTC 4007: Urban and multicultural science education

Students will explore the intersections of policy, science, and society and the impact these have on standard K-12 urban science curriculum and multicultural teaching practices. Drawing from scholarship in policy, curriculum, and teaching, this course explores major issues faced in urban science education, including: (1) the issue of resources (physical, human, and social) in urban schools and how urban science education programs might draw from local resources in meeting the needs of urban learners; (2) the issue of what roles might teachers, administrators, policy makers, and curriculum writers play in the design and implementation of empowering curricular and pedagogical practices in urban science classrooms; and (3) the issue of multicultural science education in terms of both content and pedagogy. This course challenges commonly used practices where multiculturalism is often taught as one distinct and often separate component of the science curriculum.

MSTC 4047: Physical science curriculum and methods laboratory

Discussion of middle or secondary school curricula each offered in separate semesters, stressing laboratory activity. May be taken twice, once for each grade level.

MSTC 5041: The nature and practice of science

This course is one of the required core courses in the science education doctoral and advanced masters programs. It is designed to help students develop an adequate understanding of the nature of science or of how science is practiced. In this course, through the analysis of a number of current issues and problems in science and the extensive use of case studies, students will address questions such as: What is science? What distinguishes science from other ways of knowing? What standards of evidence and scientific explanations, processes, and conventions are used in science? What philosophical, social, ethical, and historical perspectives are important in understanding the nature of science?

MSTC 5047: Science teacher education

MSTC 5047 is a required core course in the Science Education doctoral and advanced master's programs. The course concerns both inservice and preservice teacher education. In the course, students will conduct research with preservice teachers, as well as practicing and expert teachers. We will examine the classic and contemporary knowledge base of teacher education, as well as current issues and questions in the education of science teaching professionals. Open to students who are not in the Science Education Program with the professor's permission.

Centers and Projects

Harlem Schools Partnership

The Harlem Schools Partnership (HSP) for STEM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is a collaborative effort of Teachers College (TC), and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) at Columbia University in association with the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) and with support from the General Electric Foundation.

The mission of the HSP is to improve STEM education by helping schools create rich environments for STEM teaching and learning.  We accomplish this through professional development that strengthens curriculum, increases teacher knowledge of STEM content and teaching practices, diversifies assessment of student learning, and ensures that English Language Learners are successful in STEM.  The intended outcome is that HSP schools will be models of excellence for STEM teaching and learning, and that participating teachers will become leaders and mentors for others at their schools and in the Department of Education.

Christopher Emdin appeared in the following articles:

TC Launches $300 Million Fundraising Campaign for the Future (1/30/2014)

State of the College 2013 (10/29/2013)

A Letter from Susan Fuhrman (10/10/2013)

Gamification Expert Joey Lee Receives TC's Strage Prize (9/3/2013)

Emdin Chats With the Chronicle About Science Rap (7/17/2013)

Taking The Pulse Of The Community (6/27/2013)

Class Will Meet Outside Today (6/26/2013)

Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S. Judges Choose Winning Science Rap (6/26/2013)

The Gift Is Science, But Kids Love the Rapping (6/26/2013)

Science Genius Project Picks Winning Rap (6/24/2013)

TC at AERA 2013 (4/26/2013)

Honoring a Legacy for Generations to Come (4/23/2013)

A Stage to Celebrate Their Accomplishments (4/22/2013)

TC: The Next Generation (4/22/2013)

Emdin, GZA on PBS Newshour With Rap Genius (3/28/2013)

Hip-Hop Science BATTLE on PBS Newshour This Evening (3/27/2013)

Harnessing Culture to End Health Disparities (3/25/2013)

Hip-Hop and Health (3/24/2013)

New TC Center to Advance Multimedia Health and Science Education to Foster Health Equity and Academic Achievement (3/12/2013)

A Healthy Learner is a Successful Learner (3/8/2013)

More about Christopher Emdin (2/28/2013)

Professor Christopher Emdin (2/25/2013)

Chris Emdin Teams up With Rap Artist GZA to Sponsor Science Rap Battle (11/21/2012)

Professor Chris Emdin Teams up With Rap Artist GZA to Sponsor Science Rap Battle (11/19/2012)

TC's Christopher Emdin writes: "Geniuses Unite: The Intersection of Hip-Hop and Science" (7/3/2012)

TEDx @ TC: Speaking From the Head and the Heart on International Education (5/15/2012)

Game for Learning (5/1/2012)

TC's Christopher Emdin: "America's Youth is Uprising" (4/16/2012)

Inaugural TEDxTeachersCollege Conference to Explore Innovations in International Education (3/19/2012)

Prof. Emdin Urges Elon Students to "Make the Classroom a Social Place" (3/9/2012)

Debating the Use
of Test Scores
to Evaluate Teachers

TC's Christopher Emdin Responds to Forbes Column, "If I Were a Poor Black Kid" (12/21/2011)

Cultures of Silence: Why Penn State and other institutions don't bring wrong-doing to light - and how outsiders should react (12/14/2011)

TC's Chris Emdin in Huffington Post on Minority STEM Teachers (11/21/2011)

Sealey-Ruiz Co-Edits Special Journal Issue on the Disappearance of Black Teachers (10/25/2011)

Professor Emdin Writes Back-to-School Tips for Urban Parents (8/31/2011)

Christopher Emdin Says Education System Discourages the Study of Science (5/31/2011)

TC at AERA 2011 (5/12/2011)

TC at AERA 2011 (4/12/2011)

TC's Christopher Emdin Featured in Amtrak's Arrive Magazine as Innovative Teacher (2/28/2011)

TENURE BATTLES OF 2011 (2/25/2011)

TC's Christopher Emdin Responds to NYC School Closings (2/3/2011)

Celebrating the TC Ecosystem (12/8/2010)

The Hip-Hop Hypothesis (12/8/2010)

Summer Reading (7/28/2010 2:20:00 PM)

Faculty Partners (5/27/2010)

Joining Forces (5/20/2010)

Emdin's Students Rap to Success (3/12/2010)

Emdin's Bronx students rap en Espanol (3/2/2010)

Meet Our Graduates! (6/22/2009)

Leading Latino Research (6/1/2009)

Professor Emdin Uses Hip Hop to Teach Science (5/6/2009)

TC Professor of Education,Chris Emdin, is using hip- hop music in a science experiment. (5/4/2009)

Teachers College to Partner with 10 Public Schools in Harlem (6/30/2008)

TC's Emdin Honored for Dissertation on Urban Science Education (4/11/2008)

TC at AERA, 2008 (3/25/2008)

New Faculty and Their Interests: Education in Many Forms (11/15/2007)

TC Expert Source Guide (1/1/1900)