Faculty Profile

Kara Gray

Kara Gray

Associate Professor

Phone: 206-281-7256
Office: Otto Miller Hall 131

Education: BS in Physics, Kansas State University, 2003; MS, Kansas State University, 2004. PhD, University of Colorado, Boulder, 2013. At SPU since 2012.

Kara Gray teaches physics content courses and courses designed to prepare learning assistants to teach. Prior to coming to SPU, Dr. Gray worked with the Physics Education Research Group at CU-Boulder, where she focused on the Colorado Learning Assistant Model for preparing undergraduates to assist students in introductory STEM courses. As an undergraduate, Dr. Gray worked with the Kansas State University Physics Education Research Group.

Dr. Gray’s research interests align closely with her teaching responsibilities. She is interested in how to improve student learning and engagement using courses designed from constructivist and scientific inquiry perspectives with an emphasis on student model building. Her research also focuses on preparing teachers to teach energy as presented by the Next Generation Science Standards — with an emphasis on elementary teachers. Dr. Gray’s work tends to emphasize formative assessment as a teaching philosophy that focuses on grounding instruction in students’ ideas.

Selected publications

  • Gray, K. E., Webb, D. C., & Otero, V. K. (2012). Effects of the learning assistant experience on in-service teachers’ practices. In N. S. Rebello, P. V. Engelhardt, & C. Singh (Eds.), Physics Education Research Conference 2012 (pp. 199–202). Melville, NY: AIP Conference Proceedings 1413. doi:doi:10.1063/1.3680029 
  • Gray, K. E., Adams, W. K., Wieman, C. E., & Perkins, K. K. (2008). Students know what physicists believe, but they don’t agree: A study using the CLASS survey. Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 4(2), 020106. doi:10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.4.020106 
  • Otero, V. K., & Gray, K. E. (2007). Learning to think like scientists with the PET Curriculum. In L. McCullough, L. Hsu, & P. Heron (Eds.), Physics Education Research Conference 2007 (pp. 160–163). Melville, NY: AIP Conference Proceedings 951.