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

Project ESCALATE: Engineering and Science Careers in Academe, Learning from ADVANCE and Translating Effectively
2006 - 2009

Using a Model Undergraduate Learning Laboratory for Teaching Real-Time Embedded-Systems Networking
2007 - 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

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

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

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.* 4 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. 4 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

En sus voces [In their voices]: Creating poetic representations for critical research about Mexican-immigrant parental involvement
*Tonso, K. L.* & Prosperi, J. D. H. 3 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.* 2 2008 "On Being and Engineer: Cognitive Underpinnings of Engineering Education" at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas.

Focusing on gender in (and of) engineering, not on women: The heretical perspective
*Tonso, K. L.* 11 2008 Workshop on Philosophy and Engineering, The Royal Academy of Engineering, London, England.

Real-time, embedded-systems networking: Knowledge, learning, and activity
*Tonso, K. L.*, & Yaprak, E. 6 2008 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition, Pittsburgh, PA.

Real-time, embedded-systems networking: A novel way to develop an interactive undergraduate course
Yaprak, E., & *Tonso, K. L.* 6 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. P. 6 2007 19th Annual Conference on Ethnography and Qualitative Research in Education, Cedarville, Ohio.

Masculinities, femininities, engineering expertise: Complicating the gender equation in engineering education
*Tonso, K. L.* 10 2007 Annual Meeting of Society for Social Studies of Science, Montreal, Canada.

On the outskirts of engineering: How an engineering education culture moved women to the margins
*Tonso, K. L.* 4 2007 Annual Meeting of American Educational Research Association, Chicago, Illinois.

Developing engineering expertise in a design course sequence
*Tonso, K. L.* 6 2007 International Conference for Research in Engineering Education, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Engineering education and reform: Change in a culture of engineering practice that intertwines expertise, gender, power, and identity
*Tonso, K. L.* 9 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.* 4 2006 Annual Meeting of American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA, 2006.

Producing engineering practice and women's marginalization
*Tonso, K. L.* 10 2006 Annual Meeting of Research on Women and Education, Detroit, MI.

Theorizing identity in engineering learning settings: A sociocultural take
*Tonso, K. L.* 11 2006 Annual Society for Social Studies of Science, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Caught in a policy crossfire: Dechartering an urban, African American middle school
*Tonso, K. L.* & Colombo, M. 4 2005 Annual Meeting of American Educational Research Association, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Student engineers and identity: Masculinities, femininities, expertise, and power
*Tonso, K. L.* 10 2005 Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science, Pasadena, CA

"I drove a country mile": Post-Brown opportunity and dechartering an urban, black, middle school
*Tonso, K. L.* & Colombo, M. 4 2004 Annual Meeting of American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA

"We're all nerds": Constructing identity (and gender and power) in practice
*Tonso, K. L.* 4 2003 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL.

Engineering practices in student teams: Studying women's situations in contested cultural terrain
*Tonso, K. L.* 11 2003 Texas A & M University, NSF Gender Diversity Project Pre-visit website publication

Playing with pros: Teens constructing gender and identity via ragtime music
*Tonso, K. L.* 4 2002 nnual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.

Where the girls aren't: Ideologies of privilege and violence in 'standardized' schooling
*Tonso, K. L.* 10 2002 Annual Meeting of Research on Women and Education, a Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA

"Skirting" the issues: Learning ideologies of straight, white, male privilege
*Tonso, K. L.* 10 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

"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

Violent masculinities as tropes for school shooters: The Montreal Massacre, Columbine Attack, and rethinking schools
*Tonso, K. L.* 2009 American Behavioral Scientist 52(9)

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

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)?

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

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

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)

Teams that work: Campus culture, engineer identity, and social interactions
*Tonso, K. L.* 2006 Journal of Engineering Education 1(1)

African-centered education: An approach to schooling for social justice for African American students
Marks, J. B. & *Tonso, K. L.* 2006 Education 126(3)

Parental choice and the decision to decharter an urban, black, middle school
*Tonso, K. L.* & Colombo, M. 2006 Journal of School Choice 1(1)

Student engineers and engineer identity
*Tonso, K. L.* 2006 Cultural Studies of Science Education 1(2)

"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)

Reflecting on Columbine High: Ideologies of privilege in "standardized" schools
*Tonso, K. L.* 2003 Educational Studies 33(4)

"Plotting something dastardly": Hiding a gender curriculum in engineering
*Tonso, K. L.* 2001 Hidden Curricula in Higher Education

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

Engineering gender - gendering engineering: A cultural model for belonging
*Tonso, K. L.* 12 1999 ournal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering 5(4)

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)

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)

Student learning and gender
*Tonso, K. L.* 1996 Journal of Engineering Education 85(2)

The impact of cultural norms on women
*Tonso, K. L.* 1996 Journal of Engineering Education 85(3)

150 years in the heart of Detroit