Felicia Mensah

Columbia University



Professor Mensah has worked collaboratively and independently in developing as a scholar in the areas of science teacher education and teacher professional development. Professor Mensah received her doctorate in Science Education at The Florida State University (May 2003). Using a feminist poststructuralist analysis of power, language, difference, and knowledge construction, her dissertation focused on three African American secondary school teachers' experiences in professional development, teaching, and learning science. As a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Curriculum Materials in Science at Michigan State University (June 2003-July 2005), Professor Mensah focused on developing science curriculum materials that addressed issues of diversity in planning, assessing, and teaching science for understanding. Since receiving her doctoral degree, Professor Mensah has published extensively in the area of science teacher education. Her research interests are in diversity and social justice education with an emphasis on improving science experiences and for PreK-16 teachers and students in urban classrooms. She uses culturally relevant/responsive pedagogy in the preparation of science teachers, and also in teacher development, assessment and curriculum. This approach allows students who are traditionally marginalized in science learning, and their teachers in many instances, to view science as accessible, fun, and empowering. She conducts professional development workshops and institutes with elementary, middle, and high school science teachers as well as provide outreach activities for schools, such as hosting elementary students to attend science courses at the university. She also has an exceptional record in advising and developing early scholars with sponsoring more than 30 doctoral dissertations and serving on many more dissertation committees. Professor Mensah has received a number of awards, honors and acknowledgements, such as the Early Career Award, Division K, from the American Educational Research Association (2012), the Race, Culture, and Diversity Research Grant from Teachers College, and four Provost Investment Grants to support her research. She is currently serving as a lead editor of the Cultural Studies of Science Education journal, and will be an incoming associate editor of the Journal of Research in Science Teaching (2015-2020), the premier journal of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST). Professor Mensah also served three years as an executive board member of this association (2011-2014).

Research Areas

Science Teacher Education; Diversity, Equity & Social Justice Education; Urban and Multicultural Education


AERA 2012 Early Career Award, Division K (Teaching & Teacher Education) 2010-11 Dean's Fellowship Program for Teaching and Diversity Faculty & Student Research Grant: African American Scientists Book Club