College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University
Graduate School of Education - George Mason University

Our Graduate School of Education is the alma mater for one third of teachers and administrators in Northern Virginia’s world-class school systems. Each year, more than 3,000 graduate students enroll in our innovative academic programs, which include advanced study for teachers and school leaders, instructional design and technology, and a renowned PhD in Education program that is among the largest in the country.


School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism - George Mason University

The School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism (SRHT) offers exciting, career-ready majors in dynamic fields such as athletic training, tourism and events management, health and physical education, kinesiology, sport management, and recreation management. SRHT features renowned faculty, cutting-edge research, six laboratories and centers, and a diverse student body of more than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year. Each major requires one or more internship or clinical experiences, ensuring that students graduate not just with a transcript but with a resume that demonstrates their professional aptitude and skills.

PhD, George Mason University
Assistant Professor
Academic Program Co-Coordinator, Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning
Associate Director, Center for Social Equity Through Science Education
PhD in Education and Human Development

Contact Information

Send email to Ms. Holincheck

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

George Mason University
Fairfax Campus
Thompson Hall 2507
4400 University Dr.
MS 1E8
Fairfax, VA 22030


Dr. Nancy Holincheck joined CEHD in 2013 as an Assistant Professor of Education with the Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning (ASTL) program. She earned a PhD in Education with a specialization in Curriculum and Instruction and an MS in Applied and Engineering Physics from George Mason University, as well as a B.S. in physics from The College of William and Mary. Dr. Holincheck teaches doctoral courses in education research, Teaching and Teacher Education, and Science Education, 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.  

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 Evaluator on the U.S. Department of Education's Jacob K. Javits grant funded Project ExCEL, and Co-PI and Evaluator on the NSF funded Teaching Critical Thinking Skills in Science with sInvestigator. Dr. Holincheck previously taught education policy at American University in Washington, D.C.. A National Board Certified Teacher since 2001, Holincheck began her teaching career as a high school physics teacher in Fairfax County, Virginia and previously taught at Hayfield Secondary and Chantilly High School.

Research Interests

Teacher education, teacher research, teachers' use of research, inquiry instruction, science education, gifted identification, and problem-based learning

Recent Publications

Select publications & presentations: 

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.