Lisé Whitfield

Growing up in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains near Yellowstone National Park, USA in a family with a passion for outdoor adventure, I was immersed in a huge wilderness lab/playground throughout my childhood, creating the foundation for a sustained curiosity, a deep love for the planet, and enthusiasm for the process of science. After earning degrees in Physics, Earth & Planetary Science, and STEM Education and spending many years as a credentialed classroom teacher and curriculum designer, I moved into a role as an Education Research Scientist within academia, creating and studying experimental project-based learning curriculum for rigorous secondary science courses across a range of demographic contexts. My passion to inspire and equip students to deeply engage with the natural world and discover the power of their own attentive curiosity has brought my published work to a wide variety of organizations and schools including National Geographic, University of Washington, UC Berkeley, New York University, The College Board, Lucas Education Research, Educurious, and WestEd.

In addition to a career in STEM education, I also trained and performed as a professional modern dancer at The Ailey School in New York and have continued to teach and participate in dance and dance education from K-12 through university levels in a variety of styles including Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Tap, Musical Theater, Hula, Barre Fitness, and several styles of world dance.

In general though, inspired by my own educational experiences, my approach is very Waldorf-inspired in the sense that I try to weave together authentically related topics and subject matter in a way that engages students’ natural curiosity, fires up their courage for learning and taking meaningful risks, and nurtures their sense of compassion. I’m very interested in supporting them to see and create beauty/art in whatever we do (chemistry, math, history, literature, etc.), and see my role often as a thoughtful facilitator to help them notice the awe and wonder of the world around us and engage with it in a way that helps them expand and grow from their own roots.

~Lisé Whitfield