Karen L. Tonso

Karen L. Tonso
Associate Professor Emeritus - Education Evaluation & Research

 


Education
  • BS, Engineering Geology, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado 1972
  • MA, Curriculum & Instruction (Secondary Math), University of Colorado-Denver, 1990
  • PhD, Educational Foundations, Policy, & Practice, University of Colorado-Boulder, 1997

 

Biography

EMPLOYMENT

Engineering

  • Conoco, Hobbs (NM) Division, Engineer, 1973-1975
  • Marathon Oil Company, Detroit Research Center, Reservoir Engineer, 1975-1981
  • Central Bank of Denver, Energy Lending Unit, Senior Reservoir Engineer, 1981-1987

Academic

  • Metropolitan State College of Denver, CO, Adjunct Professor: Spring, Summer, Fall 1991; Spring, Summer 1992
  • University of Colorado-Boulder, Graduate Part-Time Instructor: Fall 1992; Fall 1993; Spring 1994; Visiting Professor (Graduate Faculty): Fall 1997
  • University of Colorado-Boulder, University Supervisor of Student Teachers: Spring 1993; Spring, Fall 1994; Spring, Fall 1995; Spring 1996
  • University of Northern Colorado, Adjunct Faculty: Fall 1997; Spring 1998
  • Metropolitan State College of Denver, CO, Adjunct Professor; Fall 1998; Spring 1999
  • Wayne State University: Assistant Professor, 1999-2006, Associate Professor, 2006-present

 

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • American Anthropological Association
    • Council on Anthropology of Education
  • American Educational Research Association
    • Research on Women and Education
    • Qualitative Research
    • Research on Black Education
    • Society for Social Studies of Science
  • American Society for Engineering Education
    • Educational Research and Methods

 

Responsibilities

Dr. Karen L. Tonso currently teaches EER-7880 and EER-8710, Fundamental and Advanced Ethnographic methods, as well as coordinates the Educational History and Philosophy courses, of which she teaches the Doctoral Seminar (EHP-9600) and both certification courses (EHP-3600 & EHP-7600).

She serves on WSU's Institutional Review Board as a member of the Human investigation Committee and Faculty Senate, and has served on the the College of Education Executive Council, the Honors Council, and the Graduate Writing Committee and the Women's Studies Program Review.

Her dissertation service work includes Qualitative Research students in Educational Evaluation and Research, as well as serving as the outside member (and research methodologist) on committees in Communications and Nursing. She has chaired or co-chaired 24 committees, served as the methodologist on 18 committees, and been a general reader on 3 others.

Academic Interests

  • Educational Philosophy and Philosophical Interpretations of Social Justice
  • Critical Theories of Race, Gender, and Social Class
  • Qualitative Research Methods, especially Ethnography
  • Sociocultural Studies of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Learning In and Out of Schools

Area Of Expertise

Social Justice in Education:

  • Cultural Studies of Engineering and Engineering Education, as well as other STEM fields
  • Anthropological Learning Theories
  • Post-Columbine School Violence, especially contributions of school cultures to the sociocultural production of peer-group hierarchies
  • School Restructuing and Urban Education

Research Interests

Anthropology of Education, especially learning, gender, identity, and power in sites of science and engineering study and practice

Qualitative Research Methods, especially novel approaches to analyze and re/present data.

Community Engagement Activities

American Association of University Women for preparation of the report “Girls in Science: Key Research Findings on Gender Equity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM),” which they update every five years. Consultant

National Academy of Engineering. Engineering Equity Extension Service. $2,500,000 (2005-2010). Consultant (http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=0533520)

Skillman Foundation. Evaluation Plan for The Skillman Good Schools: Making the Grade Initiative. $450,000 (2005-2008). Consultant

Grants

Using a Model Undergraduate Learning Laboratory for Teaching Real-Time Embedded-Systems Networking
2007 - 2009
Project ESCALATE: Engineering and Science Careers in Academe, Learning from ADVANCE and Translating Effectively
2006 - 2009

Awards & Honors

2009
Betty Vetter Award for Research from the Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN) in recognition of exemplary achievement in research related to women in engineering
2006
Distinguished Paper Award 2006, from the journal Cultural Studies of Science Education
2005
Recommended for Wayne State University Excellence in Teaching Award
1999
Mary Catherine Ellwein Outstanding Dissertation Award, Qualitative Research Methodology, American Educational Research Association
1998
Selma Greenberg Distinguished Dissertation Award, Research on Women and Education, American Educational Research Association
1995
Best Paper Award, Educational Research and Methods Division, American Society for Engineering Education, “Discourse in an engineering classroom: Whose talk counts?”
1994
American Educational Research Association/Spencer Foundation Fellow, 1994-1995

Presentations

Occupying the E in STEM and science
Tonso, K. L. & Weinstein, M. 2013   NARST, April 6-9, 2013, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
How might change happen when the problem appears invisible?
Faulkner, W., & Tonso, K. L. 2011   2011 Summit of the National Center for Women & Information Technology, May 23-25, 2011, New York, NY
Developing engineering expertise in a design course sequence
Tonso, K. L. 2010   Research Institute for STEM Education, November 11, 2010, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
Constructing engineering expertise in high school robotics and college design
Tonso, K. L. 2010   American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, April 30 to May 4, 2010, Denver, CO
Staying below the radar: Collaboration in interdisciplinary design teamwork
Tonso, K. L. 2010   Scientific Collaboration, Interdisciplinary Pedagogies, and the Knowledge Economy An Interdisciplinary Workshop, 9-10 September 2010, Department of Education, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Patients' decision-making for non-emergent use of the emergency department
Krishnan, A., Tonso, K. L., Schwartz, L. 2010   National Conference for Undergraduate Research, April 15-17, 2010, Missoula, MT
"Monster's of unnaturalness": Media representations of women engineers in the SWE Archive
Pawley, A., & Tonso, K. L. 2010   Annual Meeting of the Society of Women Engineers, November 4-6, 2010, Orlando, FL
Ethnography and explanatory power: Building in rigor through research practice
Tonso, K. L. 2009   American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.
"Go robot go!": Teaching robotics to urban teachers and students
Tonso, K. L. & Yaprak, E. 2009   American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.
Ethnography and explanatory power: Building in rigor through research practice
Tonso, K. L. 2009   American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, April, 2009, San Diego, CA
Production of gender in/of engineering: The case of Public Engineering School
Tonso, K. L. 2009   Gender Studies Working Group, October 22, 2009, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK
"Monster's of unnaturalness": Framing women's identities as engineers
Pawley, A., & Tonso, K. L. 2009   Annual Meeting of the Society of Women Engineers, October 17, 2009, Long Beach, CA
Focusing on gender in (and of) engineering, not on women: The heretical perspective
Tonso, K. L. 2008   Workshop on Philosophy and Engineering, The Royal Academy of Engineering, London, England.
Real-time, embedded-systems networking: A novel way to develop an interactive undergraduate course
Yaprak, E., & Tonso, K. L. 2008   American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition, Pittsburgh, PA.
Real-time, embedded-systems networking: Knowledge, learning, and activity
Tonso, K. L., & Yaprak, E. 2008   American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition, Pittsburgh, PA.
En sus voces [In their voices]: Creating poetic representations for critical research about Mexican-immigrant parental involvement
Tonso, K. L. & Prosperi, J. D. H. 2008   Annual Meeting of American Educational Research Association, New York, New York.
Who knows what? Learning engineering expertise via practice and the need for alternative assessment
Tonso, K. L. 2008   "On Being and Engineer: Cognitive Underpinnings of Engineering Education" at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas.
Masculinities, femininities, engineering expertise: Complicating the gender equation in engineering education
Tonso, K. L. 2007   Annual Meeting of Society for Social Studies of Science, Montreal, Canada.
Developing engineering expertise in a design course sequence
Tonso, K. L. 2007   International Conference for Research in Engineering Education, Honolulu, Hawaii.
En sus voces [in their voices]: Creating poetic representations for critical research about Mexican-immigrant parental involvement
Tonso, K. L., & Prosperi, J. P. 2007   19th Annual Conference on Ethnography and Qualitative Research in Education, Cedarville, Ohio.
On the outskirts of engineering: How an engineering education culture moved women to the margins
Tonso, K. L. 2007   Annual Meeting of American Educational Research Association, Chicago, Illinois.
Theorizing identity in engineering learning settings: A sociocultural take
Tonso, K. L. 2006   Annual Society for Social Studies of Science, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Producing engineering practice and women's marginalization
Tonso, K. L. 2006   Annual Meeting of Research on Women and Education, Detroit, MI.
Engineering education and reform: Change in a culture of engineering practice that intertwines expertise, gender, power, and identity
Tonso, K. L. 2006   International Network for Engineering Studies, Fall 2006 Workshop "Locating Engineers: Education, Knowledge, Desire" , Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA.
"It's hard answering your calling": Teacher teams in a dechartered urban, black, middle school
Tonso, K. L. 2006   Annual Meeting of American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA, 2006.
Student engineers and identity: Masculinities, femininities, expertise, and power
Tonso, K. L. 2005   Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science, Pasadena, CA
Caught in a policy crossfire: Dechartering an urban, African American middle school
Tonso, K. L. & Colombo, M. 2005   Annual Meeting of American Educational Research Association, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
"I drove a country mile": Post-Brown opportunity and dechartering an urban, black, middle school
Tonso, K. L. & Colombo, M. 2004   Annual Meeting of American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA
Engineering practices in student teams: Studying women's situations in contested cultural terrain
Tonso, K. L. 2003   Texas A & M University, NSF Gender Diversity Project Pre-visit website publication
"We're all nerds": Constructing identity (and gender and power) in practice
Tonso, K. L. 2003   Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL.
Where the girls aren't: Ideologies of privilege and violence in 'standardized' schooling
Tonso, K. L. 2002   Annual Meeting of Research on Women and Education, a Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA
Playing with pros: Teens constructing gender and identity via ragtime music
Tonso, K. L. 2002   nnual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.
"Skirting" the issues: Learning ideologies of straight, white, male privilege
Tonso, K. L. 2001   Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science, Cambridge, MA.

Publications

Engineering identity (In Press)
Tonso, K. L.   2013 In A. Johri and B. Olds (Eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Engineering Education Research. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press
Making science worthwhile: still seeking critical, not cosmetic, changes
Tonso, K. L.   2012 Cultural Studies of Science Education 1-4
"Monsters of unnaturalness": Making women engineers' identities via newspapers and magazines (1930-1970
Pawley, A. & Tonso, K. L.   2011 Journal of the Society of Women Engineers - 60th Anniversary Edition 60 60-75
Knowing a hawk from a handsaw: Interdisciplinarity and STEM education research
Tonso, K. L.   2009 Research on Social Problems and Public Policy, vol. 16, on Integrating science into society, and society into science: Practices
Violent masculinities as tropes for school shooters: The Montreal Massacre, Columbine Attack, and rethinking schools
Tonso, K. L.   2009 American Behavioral Scientist 52(9) 1266-1285
A stranger in a "real" land: Engineering expertise on an engineering campus
Tonso, K. L.   2008 Science education from people for people: Taking a stand(point)?
Learning to be engineers: How engineer identity embodied expertise, gender, and power
Tonso, K. L.   2007 Science, learning, and identities: Sociocultural and cultural-historical perspectives
On the outskirts of engineering: Learning identity, gender, and power via engineering practice
Tonso, K. L.   2007 On the outskirts of engineering: Learning identity, gender, and power via engineering practice
Teams that work: Campus culture, engineer identity, and social interactions
Tonso, K. L.   2006 Journal of Engineering Education 1(1) 1-13
Student engineers and engineer identity
Tonso, K. L.   2006 Cultural Studies of Science Education 1(2) 35
"It's hard answering your calling": Teacher teams in a dechartered urban middle school
Tonso, K. L., Jung. M. L., & Colombo, M.   2006 Research in Middle-Level Education 30(1) 1-39
Parental choice and the decision to decharter an urban, black, middle school
Tonso, K. L. & Colombo, M.   2006 Journal of School Choice 1(1) 85-118
African-centered education: An approach to schooling for social justice for African American students
Marks, J. B. & Tonso, K. L.   2006 Education 126(3) 481-494
Not "getting some guns and doing some damage": Listening to teens and learning from a ragtime festival
Tonso, K. L.   2006 Educational Studies 39(2) 102-123
Reflecting on Columbine High: Ideologies of privilege in "standardized" schools
Tonso, K. L.   2003 Educational Studies 33(4) 389-403
"Plotting something dastardly": Hiding a gender curriculum in engineering
Tonso, K. L.   2001 Hidden Curricula in Higher Education 155-174
Producing public and private on an engineering campus
Tonso, K. L.   2000 Research in Science and Technology Studies: Gender and Work, Knowledge and Society Series 12 263-293
Engineering gender - gendering engineering: A cultural model for belonging
Tonso, K. L.   1999 ournal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering 5(4) 365-404
Women's science: Learning and succeeding from the margins
Eisenhart, M., & Finkel, E., with Behm, L., Lawrence, N., & Tonso, K.   1998 Women's science: Learning and succeeding from the margins
Violence(s) and silence(s) in engineering classrooms
Tonso, K. L.   1997 Advancing Women in Leadership 1(1) 8
The Sunrayce '95 idea: Adding hands-on design to an engineering curriculum
Catalano, G. D., & Tonso, K. L.   1996 Journal of Engineering Education 85(3) 193-199
The impact of cultural norms on women
Tonso, K. L.   1996 Journal of Engineering Education 85(3) 217-225
Student learning and gender
Tonso, K. L.   1996 Journal of Engineering Education 85(2) 143-150

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