Michael R. Cohen


American Association for the Advancement of Science (1984)
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
School of Education


Professor Cohen served on the faculty of the School of Education in Indianapolis from 1968 to 2003. He was elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1984.

A career in education began for Cohen in 1960 when he taught at Junior High School #263 in Brooklyn, NY right after graduating from Brooklyn College. He earned an M.A. in science education at Columbia University after three years of junior high teaching, then went on to earn an MS.T in astronomy and earth sciences at Cornell University. Dr. Cohen earned his Ph.D. in science education from Cornell. He joined the IUPUI faculty in 1968.

His research has focused on children and adults' concepts and misconceptions of science and the environmental . Cohen's many published works include the popular elementary school textbook Discover Science. His early work on environmental information and attitude was used and replicated by other researchers in the 70s. His research on teachers' concepts of phases of the moon has also been replicated and cited since the 80s by educators and cognitive psychologists. The moon study led to an invitation to conduct a day-long seminar at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in the mid-80s. He returned to the center in 1998 for a sabbatical.

Cohen has been intimately involved with the Key Learning Community in Indianapolis for 25 years. Some of his most significant teacher education experiences were with an Eisenhower Fund-supported Costa Rican tropical rain forest program he ran in conjunction with the Indianapolis Zoo for four years.