For Students, Faculty, and Staff: MyU One Stop


Bhaskar Upadhyay

Associate Professor
320 G Learning and Environmental Sciences Building
1954 Buford Avenue
St. Paul, Minnesota 55108

Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin
science education

Office hours:
by appointment

Areas of Interest

Equity, social justice, and urban teacher education in STEM Education Race issues in STEM Education STEM Education and Food Security in the Global South Sociology and Anthropology of STEM Education

Research Interests

As a former science teacher, I am interested in research and teaching that addresses issues of science teaching and learning in the high-poverty urban schools. At the K-12 level I not only want to examine how science teaching and learning can be improved in the classrooms but also look at issues of access, ethnicity, and race that surround science education in our urban schools.

In addition, my research focuses on how social justice and equity be achieved through science education. In this regard, I examine the nature and purposes of science education for students from high-poverty, immigrant, and minority families. I use the theories of critical pedagogy, culturally responsive and culturally relevant pedagogy, social justice, constructivist learning, and context based instruction to understand and critically examine these issues in the context of science teaching and learning.

I am using Linking Food and Environment (LiFE) curriculum to understand teachers' thinking about students' lived experiences in teaching science. LiFE is an elementary level curriculum designed by Teachers College to teach life and the environment science to urban school children.

Through various research grants and projects I am examining:

  1. community and science
  2. science as an agent for change, empowerment, and social justice for urban minority youths
  3. the intersection of science and socio-cultural habits in urban school settings
  4. issues of science learning for the students from immigrant families and roles of immigrant parents in their children's science learning
  5. social justice and equity


  • CI 8571—Equity, Policy and Social Justice in Science Education: course for Ph.D. students to provide a broad understanding of equity, multicultural education, connected science, empowerment, social justice, etc.
  • CI 5536—Equity, Policy, and Assessment in Science Education: course for K-12 licensure students to support their teaching practices in diverse school settings.
  • CI 5501—Teaching Science and Health in the Elementary School: course for elementary licensure students to practice inquiry-based, constructivist science teaching practices; practice science lessons in multicultural, multiracial, and multilingual school settings.

Selected Publications

  1. Michelle Fleming, M., Kenyon, L.O., Kenyon, L. & Upadhyay, B. (2015). Democratic Science: Engaging Middle School Students in Meaningful Practices through Community Engagement. Education in Democracy, 7, 37-63.

  2. Maruyama, G., Jones, R., Adams, M., Upadhyay, B. (2014). Including Communities in Urban University-School Partnerships. Scholar-Practitioner Quarterly, 7, 364-379.

  3. Upadhyay, B. (2012). Elementary students’ ways of seeing globalization in science. In J. Bianchini, V. Akerson, A. Calabrese Barton, O. Lee, and A. Rodriguez (Eds.), Moving the Equity Agenda Forward:  Equity Research, Practice, and Policy in Science Education (pp. 99-118). Rotterdam, Netherlands: Springer Publisher. 

  4. Upadhyay, B. & Albrecht, N. (2011). Deliberative Democracy in an Urban Elementary Science Classroom. In S. Basu, A. Calabrese Barton, E. Tan (Eds.), Building the Expertise to Empower Low-Income Minority Youth in Science (pp.75-83). Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

  5. Upadhyay, B. & Gifford, A. (2011). Changing lives: Coteaching immigrant students in a middle school science classroom. In C. Murphy & K. Scantlebury (Eds.), Coteaching in international contexts: Research and practice (p. 263-280). New York, NY: Springer.

  6. Upadhyay, B., Regmi, J., & Sharma, U. (2010). Seeking for empowerment and social 
    justice through science education in Nepal. In Y.-J. Lee (Ed.), The world of science education: Handbook of research in Asia (393-414). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers. 
  7. Upadhyay, B. (2010). Science, religion, and constructivism: Constructing and understanding reality. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 5, 41-46.  

  8. Barton, A.C. & Upadhyay, B. (2010). Teaching and Learning Science for Social Justice: Introduction to the Special Issue. Equity and Excellence in Education, 43, 1-5.

  9. Upadhyay, B. (2010). Middle school science teachers’ perceptions of social justice: A study of two elementary teachers. Equity and Excellence in Education, 43, 56-71.

  10. Upadhyay, B. (2009). Narratives, choices, alienation, and identity: Learning from an elementary science teacher. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 4, 601-610.

  11. Upadhyay, B. (2009). Negotiating identity and science teaching in a high-stakes testing environment: An elementary teacher's perceptions. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 4, 569-586.

  12. Upadhyay, B. (2009). Teaching science for empowerment in an urban classroom: Using Hmong students' funds of knowledge. Equity and Excellence in Education.

  13. Upadhyay, B. & DeFranco, C. (2008). Elementary students' retention of environmental science knowledge: Connected science versus direct instruction. The Journal of Elementary Science Education, 20, 23-37.

  14. Upadhyay, B. R. (2006). Using students’ lived experiences in an urban science classroom: An elementary school teacher’s thinking. Science Education, 90 (1), 94-110.

  15. Upadhyay, B. R. (2005). Practicing reform-based science curriculum in an urban classroom: A Hispanic elementary school teacher’s thinking and decisions. School Science and Mathematics, 105 (7), 343-351.

  16. Upadhyay, B. R., Barton, A.C. & Zahur, R. (2005). Teaching science in a poor urban school in Pakistan: Tensions in the life history of a female elementary teacher. Science Education, 89 (5), 725-743.

  17.  Zahur, R., Barton, A.C. & Upadhyay, B. R. (2002). Science education for empowerment and social change: A case study of a teacher educator in urban Pakistani school. International Journal of Science Education, U.K., 24 (9), 899-917.

  18. Text books

    Upadhyay, B.R. (1996). My Environment (Grade 5). Budhanilkantha School: Kathmandu, Nepal.

  19. Upadhyay, B.R. (1996). General School Science (Part 6). Nepal Sahitya Prakashan: Kathmandu, Nepal.

  20. Upadhyay, B.R. (1991). Complete School Physics with Astronomy for classes IX & X. S. Prasad & Co.: Kathmandu, Nepal.