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Won Jung Kim, Ph.D

Won Jung Kim Website
Won Jung Kim
Assistant Professor

Won Jung Kim, Ph.D., received her bachelor's and master’s degrees from Korea National University of Education, College of Science Education (2004, 2013), and completed her doctoral studies at Michigan State University, College of Education, in the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education.  

Dr. Kim's research explores and extends the concept of rightful presence in how we work toward equitable and justice-oriented science education. Seeking ways of justice-oriented pedagogies, she has conducted research-practice partnership with youth and educators in local science and community centers in Michigan, and now she is expanding her collaboration with teachers, youth and communities in East San Jose areas and Silicon Valley. Her research aims at supporting young people to empower themselves as rightful and legitimate constructors, users, and critiques of STEM knowledge and practice, living in the complex real world affected by climate threat, information surge, and fast evolving digital technology.

Her research is grounded in her commitment in teaching and supporting teachers. Prior to her PhD work, she served as a middle school science teacher in her home country of South Korea for twelve years, during which she pursued an MA and published several articles on her work with students. As a teacher, she sought to support and amplify young people’s embodied STEM learning and living (e.g., dance, rap, performance, social action), through which she learned from her students the power of multiple ways of knowing, learning, and being. She has extended this work at undergraduate- and graduate-levels as of now partnering with pre- and in-service STEM teachers. Now her practice-informed/centering research focuses on how pre/inservice teachers can help their students have and exercise rightful presence in and through learning STEM, and in making informed decisions and actions.

Dr. Kim has published her research in journals and book chapters, presented her research at national and international conferences, and served as journal and conference paper reviewers. Her dissertation (title: Making Visible and Amplifying Youth-initiated Moments for Rightful Presence in Informal STEM Learning Spaces) was awarded as the 2022 Outstanding Dissertation Research by National Association of Research in Science Teaching (News release here).  Dr. Kim 's current work (titled: Making Space for Climate Justice Action from Classroom to Community: Cross-site Research Practice Partnership with Youth and Teachers) has been selected as one of the 2023 Emerging Scholars Fellowship granted by the International Society of Learning Sciences (Announcement here). She is also working as a research fellow of a Science Communication Identity Project, a project funded by National Science Foundations (Website here), in which she seeks to share her learning and reflections from her work on environmental justice science teaching and learning with a broader audience in the field of STEM education research and practice.  

Guadalupe Hall
Curriculum vitae