University of Vermont

Faculty Biography

Faculty Biography | Leon Walls

Leon Walls

Leon Walls, Ph.D.Assistant Professor

Contact Information:
Waterman 532
(802) 656-2274

Areas of Expertise:

Curriculum and Instruction; Multiculturalism; Teacher Education

  • Multicultural Science Education: Teaching science with an emphasis on diversity, equity, and cultural inclusion in K-5 classrooms.
  • Nature of Science (NOS): Teaching and research related to investigating the views of science held by K-5 children and pre-service teachers, specifically as it relates to people of color.


Selected Publications

  • Walls, L. (In Press). Science Education and Females of Color: The Play Within a Play. In M.M. Atwater, M. Russell, & M.L. Butler (Eds.), Multicultural Science Education: Preparing Teachers for Equity and Social Justice. Netherlands: Springer Publishing.  [abstract]
  • Walls, L., Buck, G., & Akerson, V. L. (2013). Race, culture, gender, and nature of science in elementary settings. In J.A. Bianchini, V. L. Akerson, A. Calabrese Barton, O. Lee, & A. J. Rodriguez (Eds,), Moving the equity agenda forward: Vol 5. Cultural Studies of Science Education (pp. 131-151). Netherlands: Springer Publishing.  [abstract]
  • Walls, L. (2012). Third Grade African American Students' Views of the Nature of Science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 49 (1), 1-37.  [abstract]

Selected Presentations

  • Walls, L. (2012, March). Teaching and Assessment of Inquiry and Nature of Science with Early Childhood Students. Panel presentation at the 2012 NARST Annual Convention, Orlando, FL.
  • Walls, L. (2011, April). Culture, gender, and nature of science in elementary settings. Poster presented at the 2011 NARST Annual Convention, Orlando, FL.
  • Walls, L. (2011, April). Identify-A-Scientist: How third grade African American elementary students see scientists. Paper presented at the 2011 NARST Annual Convention, Orlando, FL.
  • Walls, L. (2010, March). Third grade African American elementary students’ views of the nature of science. Poster presented at the 2010 NARST Annual Convention,
  • Walls, L., & Bryan, L.A. (2009, April). Awakening a dialog: Examining gender and race in NOS studies from 1967 to 2008. 2010 NARST Annual Convention, Garden Grove, CA

Courses Taught in the Last 5 Years

Laboratory Experience in Inquiry; Teaching Science for Meaning


  • Ph.D. in Geoenvironmental Science Education from Purdue University
  • M.A. in Instructional Leadership from Marquette University
  • B.S. in Electrical Engineering from St. Mary's University, TX

Awards & Honors

  • Faculty Resource Network, Scholar-in-Residence New York University from : (2012)
  • International Network of Teacher Education Institutions, U.S. Delegate Member from UNESCO: (2012)
  • Jane and Michael Wilson Doctoral Award in Science Education from Purdue University: This award recognizes an outstanding doctoral dissertation. Nominations are handled through the departments. Each department has one winner, and one of them is selected for the College award. A certificate and monetary award is given. (2008)
  • Bilsland Strategic Initiatives Fellowship from Purdue University: The Bilsland Dissertation Fellowship is a Graduate School fellowship which provides support to an outstanding College of Education Ph.D. candidate in the final year of doctoral degree completion. Applicants must have completed their coursework, passed their qualifying examinations, and have an approved dissertation proposal. (2008)

Licensure or Certifications

  • Wisconsin Educator License, 5-8

Professional Associations

  • National Association of Research in Science Teaching (NARST), National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE)