COE Faculty and Staff > Curriculum Studies > Tara O'Neill

  • Tara O'Neill



    • Curriculum Studies

    Brief Biography

    Dr. Tara O’Neill is a Professor of Science Education and STEMS^2 and Director of the STEMS^2 masters concentration. She specializes in multicultural, place-based science, STEM and STEMS^2 (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Social Sciences and Sense of Place) education. In recognition of her work in the field of science education, Dr. O'Neill is an appointed member of the Journal of Research and Science Teaching (JRST) Editorial Review Board and elected Chair of the American Education Research Association (AERA) Science SIG. Prior to accepting a faculty position at UHM, Dr. O'Neill worked for 10 years as a middle and high school science teacher in Boston and New York City. Her scholarly activities focus around three primary areas: 1) science identity development of middle school girls from non-dominate (Native Hawaiian, African American, Latino/a, Micronesian, Filipino and high poverty) backgrounds; 2) the role of place-based education in building culturally integrated STEMS2 learning experiences; and 3) effective professional development models for building in-serve teachers' willingness and capacity to teach interdisciplinary STEMS2 curricula that integrates both Indigenous and Western science knowledge, skills, and practices. One of her current projects, A‘o Hawaii, is working with K-12 educators developing STEMS2 units associated of the Worldwide voyage of Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia. This work involves designing and evaluating multicultural STEM curricula around the Native Hawaiian theme of Malama Honua (to care for the earth and her people) and teacher professional development associated with the voyage. Dr. O'Neill's work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Federal Department of Education, and UHM Office of Equity and Diversity. She has published in high-impact journals in her field, including the American Education Research Journal, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Equity and Excellence in Education, and School Science and Mathematics.

    Contact Information

    Office Phone

    (808) 956-0415


    Everly 226E



    Visit Tara O'Neill's homepage

    Curriculum Vitae


    Scholarly Works

      Book Chapters

    • O'neill, T. B., Watanabe, R., & Miyamoto, C. (2017). LGBTQ Hate: No PULSE on My Campus in The University of Hawaii System. In V. Stead (Ed.), A Guide to LGBTQ+ Inclusion on Campus, Post-Pulse, Volume 7 in the Peter Lange Series, Equity in Higher Education Theory, Policy and Praxis (Vol. 7). NY, NY: Peter Lange Publishing Group.
    • O'neill, T. B. (2011). Improvisation with/in science: Expanding worlds and lives. In Democratic Science Education (pp. 102–125). New York, New York: Taylor and Francis.
    • Calabrese Barton, A., & O'neill, T. B. (2008). Counter-Storytelling in Science: Authoring a Place in the Worlds of Science and Community. In R. Levinson (Ed.), Creative Encounters: Science and Art. London, England: Welcome Trust.
    • Journal Articles

    • O'neill, T. B., Ah Sam, A., Jumalon, S., Stuart, K., & Enriquez, M. A. (2016). A‘o Hawai‘i: The role of culture and place in empowering teacher leaders as STEMS2 educators. Cultural Studies of Science Education.
    • Deering, P. D., Martin, K., Buelow, S. M., Hoffman, J., Cameli, S., Martin, M., … O'neill, T. B. (2016). Preparing young adolescents for a bright future--right now! Middle School Journal, 47(1), 19–26.
    • O'neill, T. B., & Furuto, L. H. L. (2016). Navigating Normative Space for the Authentic Integration of Culture and Values-based Education in STEM and Beyond. Cultural Studies of Science Education.
    • Calabrese Barton, A., Tan, E., & O'neill, T. B. (2014). Science Education in Urban Contexts: New Conceptual Tools and Stories of Possibility. Handbook for Research in Science Education, 2, 246–266.
    • Tan, E., Calabrese, B., Kang, H., & O'neill, T. B. (2013). Desiring a career in STEM‐related fields: How middle school girls articulate and negotiate identities‐in‐practice in science. Journal of Reseach in Science Teaching, 50(10), 1143–1179.
    • Calabrese Barton, A., Kang, H., Tan, E., O'neill, T. B., Bautista-Guerra, J., & Brecklin, C. (2013). Crafting a Future in Science Tracing Middle School Girls’ Identity Work Over Time and Space. . American Education Reseach Journal, 50(1), 37–75.
    • O'neill, T. B., Yamagata, L., Yamagata, J., Togioka, S., & Barton, A. C. (2012). Teaching STEM means Teacher Learning. Phi Delta Kappan, 49(1), 12–18.
    • Zuercher, D. K., Yoshioka, J. M., Deering, P. D., Martin, K., Curry, K., O'neill, T. B., & Apisa, K. (2012). Translating a culturally responsive, transnational middle grades teacher education program in American Samoa. Middle School Journal, 44(1), 21–38.
    • O'neill, T. B. (2010). Fostering Spaces of Student Ownership in Middle School Science. Equity & Excellence in Education, 43(1), 22–45.
    • O'neill, T. B. (2005). Uncovering student ownership in science learning: The making of a student created mini-documentary. School Science and Mathematics, 105(6), 25–45.
    • Smith, C., Wolford, R., O'neill, T. B., & Hager, G. (2000). Characterization of Transiently and Constitutively Expressed Progesterone Receptors: Evidence for Two Functional States. Molecular Endocrinology, 14, 956–971.
    • Presentations

    • Deering, P. D., Zuercher, D. K., Apisa, S., Martin, K., Ashford, A., Curry, K. M., … Yoshioka, J. M. (2012, January). Translating a collaborative learning community for educators to a transnational, virtual environment. Presented at Second Annual Conference on Education and e-Learning.
    • Research / Evaluation Reports

    • Robinson, S. D., & O'neill, T. B. (2013, January). National Recognition Program Report in Science Education (Secondary Education program) to the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (pp. 1). Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii College of Education.