College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University

Dr. Nancy M. Holincheck
PhD, George Mason University
Assistant Professor
Global Online Teacher Education Center
Academic Program Co-Coordinator, Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning
Associate Director, Center for Social Equity Through Science Education

Contact Information

Send email to Dr. Holincheck

Phone: (703) 993-8136
Fax: (703) 993-9380
Email: nholinch (

George Mason University
Fairfax Campus
Thompson Hall 2607
4400 University Dr.
MS 1E8
Fairfax, VA 22030


Dr. Nancy Holincheck is an Assistant Professor of STEM Education and the Co-Academic Program Coordinator of the Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning (ASTL) program. Dr. Holincheck teaches doctoral courses in the Teaching and Teacher Education and Science Education programs in Mason's College of Education and Human Development, and master's level courses in science and STEM education, teacher research, and teacher reflection in the ASTL program and in the Teaching Culturally, Linguistically Diverse and Exceptional Learners (TCLDEL) program.  Dr. Holincheck is an Associate Director of Mason's Center for Social Equity through Science Education: C(SE)2.

Among Dr. Holincheck's research interests are teacher education, teacher research, inquiry instruction, physics education, problem solving, science teaching and learning, STEM teaching and learning, and problem-based learning. Dr. Holincheck serves as Co-PI and Evaluator on the NSF funded Teaching Critical Thinking Skills in Science with sInvestigator. Dr. Holincheck recently served as an internal evaluator and Co-PI on an IARPA Crowdsourcing Evidence, Argumentation, Thinking and Evaluation (CREATE) Project, Cogent Argumentation System with Crowd Elicitation (Co-Arg), and as Evaluator on the U.S. Department of Education's Jacob K. Javits grant funded Project ExCEL.  

Dr. Holincheck's current research projects focus on the under-representation of groups in STEM, including how participation in middle and high school robotics influences the development of STEM identity, the role of mentors in the recruitment and retention of students from under-represented groups in STEM, explorations of gender in physics and science, promoting the success of under-represented minorities in college STEM, and implications of media representations of science and scientists.

A former high school physics teacher, Dr. Holincheck holds an MS in Applied and Engineering Physics from George Mason University and a B.S. in Physics from The College of William and Mary. A National Board Certified Teacher since 2001, Holincheck began her teaching career in Fairfax County, Virginia and taught at Hayfield Secondary and Chantilly High School. Before coming to Mason, Dr. Holincheck taught education policy at American University in Washington, D.C..

Research Interests

Teacher learning, teacher reflection, science education, science teacher education, STEM education, under-represented groups in science and STEM, gender in STEM, STEM Teacher Identity, STEM mindsets, computational thinking, physics education, problem solving, problem-based learning (PBL), teacher education, teacher research, research utilization by teachers, teachers’ professional persistence

Recent Publications

Select publications & presentations:

Hjalmarson, M.A., Holincheck, N., Baker, C.K., & Galanti, T.M. (2020). Learning Models and Modeling Across the STEM Disciplines. In C. Johnson, M.J. Mohr-Schroeder, T. Moore, & L. English (Eds.) The Handbook of Research on STEM Education. Routledge.

Fox, R.K., Dodman, S., & Holincheck, N. (2019). Moving beyond reflection in a hall of mirrors: Developing critical reflective capacity in teachers and teacher educators. Reflective Practice.

Holincheck, N., Galanti, T., Trefil, J., Tecuci, G., Boicu, M., & Marcu, D. (2019). Developing computational thinking in scientific inquiry: Use of sInvestigator in problem solving at the 2019 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Toronto, Ontario.

Fox, R., & Holincheck, N. (2018) The essential role of research for IB teachers and IB teacher educators countries at the 2018 IBEC conference at the University of Bath.

Galanti, T. M., Holincheck, N., Tecuci, G., Trefil, J., Boicu, M., & Marcu, D.  (2018). Building information literacy:  Using sInvestigator to evaluate the credibility of Internet sources at the 2018 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, New York, NY.

Horak, A., Holincheck, N., Shaklee, B., Xu, X., Rybicki-Newman, M. (2018). Equity and engagement: Problem-Based Learning to identify students with potential at the 2018 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, New York, NY.

Holincheck, N., Galanti, T., Tecuci, G., Boicu, M., Trefil, J., & Marcu, D.  (2018). Developing Critical Thinking Skills with sInvestigator at the 2018 Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE) International Conference, Baltimore, MD.

Holincheck, N., Horak, A., & Nagy, S. (2017). Increasing Opportunity: Using PBL as a Universal Screening to Identify Potential Giftedness in Middle School, at the American Educational Research Association, San Antonio.

Horak, A., Webb, K., & Holincheck, N. (2017). Empowering English Language Learners’ Academic Potential through Problem-based Learning: Leading Teachers with a Capacity-based Lens, at the American Educational Research Association, San Antonio.

Fox, R., Dodman, S.L., Holincheck, N., & Webb, K. (2017). Perspectives on Culture: Teachers’ Development of Critical Reflective Capacity through the Cultural Inquiry Process, at the American Educational Research Association, San Antonio.

Boicu, M., Tecuci, G., Marcu, D., Trefil, J., & Holincheck, N. (2016, September). Inquiry-Based Teaching and Learning of Science with Cognitive Assistants. In 2016 AAAI Fall Symposium Series.

Holincheck, N. (2016). A Whole New World of Identification: Using PBL as a Universal Screening to Close the Opportunity Gap, at National Association for Gifted Children, Orlando, FL.

Holincheck, N., Sell, C., Matson, K. & Williams, M. (2016). Why Are They Staying? Teacher Stayers’ Perceptions of Noncognitive Traits and Their Role in Teacher Retention, at the American Education Research Association, Washington, D.C.