Susan Rauchwerk


Associate Professor Susan Rauchwerk

Susan has a strong background in science, education, administration, and teacher professional development through her work in informal STEM learning with Earthwatch Institute and the Massachusetts Audubon Society. Her teaching-research method involves all students in hands-on explorations that invite learners to become critical thinkers and reflective practitioners.

In partnership with Nicole Weber, Susan is co-director of the EcoNet lab, an incubator for innovative STEAM programs that provide authentic learning programs focused on conservation and sustainability programs, including WonderLab, an afterschool and homeschool program. She is the Educator in Residence for the Mt. Auburn Citizen Science project, provides support for STEAM Beans, and has developed and delivered public programs that include Restoring Urban Environments  the Climate Café and STEAM Exploration Party. 

In collaboration with non-profit organizations in Ethiopia, teacher candidates in Dr. Rauchwerk’s science methods classes have been supporting science literacy development in Ethiopia through the creation of culturally relevant, scientifically accurate lesson plans and science stories. Thanks to a generous grant from Lesley University, she traveled to Ethiopia in 2016 to train Ethiopian educators and librarians in Addis Ababa and Awasa. She is working with her classes to produce ten science stories  for WEEMA that will be translated into three languages and distributed through WEEMA and Ethiopia Reads libraries. She is a member of the Book Centered Learning Committee of Ethiopia Reads and has authored a pedagogical review and published a paper about her work with Luminos Fund’s Ethiopia Speeds School. She will return to conduct training for Ethiopia Reads in November 2018.

An avid gardener and environmental/sustainability activist, Susan helped Lesley students establish an organic garden, and continues to engage her students and WonderLab in using the garden to learn more about sustainability through growing organic food.

Read" A Conversation with Educator-in Residence Susan Rauchwerk" on the Mount Auburn Cemetery website.
More about the Mount Auburn partnership.

Read about Susan's elementary education course Ethiopia partnership, wherein Lesley University students are researching and building culturally relevant lessons, and thinking more broadly about how poverty affects learning. Read more about the work..


BS in Ecology, Rutgers
M.Ed. and Ed.D., Harvard University 

Selected Publications

  • Rauchwerk, S. (2017). Where does our food come from? Green Teacher. 114. 7-11.
  • Rauchwerk, S. (2017).  Learning Through Play in Speed School, an International Accelerated Learning Program. International Journal of Learning, Teaching, and Educational Research.
  • Klein, J., & Rauchwerk, S. (2016).Ecological literacy: Meanings and approaches. Across the Spectrum: Resources for Environmental Educators. North American Association for Environmental Education. 3(1), 65-84.
  • Rauchwerk, S. (2017). Speed School at Play. Legatum Foundation Speed School initiative program evaluation. 
  • Rauchwerk, S. (2015). Speed School Pedagogical Review. Geneva Global program evaluation for the Speed School Fund. 
  • McMackin, M., Rauchwerk, S., Cambone, J. and Curtis M. (2013). Preparing urban teachers: Working outside the university box. Phi Delta Kappan.
  • Rauchwerk, S., and Goldowsky. A. (NP). Learning outcomes from a scientific research expedition: A qualitative study of participant learning on an Earthwatch expedition to North Queensland Australia. Earthwatch Institute Newsletter.
  • Rauchwerk, S. (NP). Incubating knowledge.: A critical exploration with teachers studying live chickens. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, 2005. United States -- Massachusetts: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT). Web. 28 Nov. 2012.
  • Rauchwerk, S, & Manning, C. (2006). Educator fellowship evaluation, Earthwatch institute, Earthwatch Annual Report.

Selected Presentations

  • Teach to Learn Convening, Field-Based Assignments in Teacher Preparation – Cambridge, MA, 2016
  • Academy for Educational Studies: Critical Questions in Education, The Reluctant Learner, Salt Lake City, UT, 2016       
  • Museum Institute for Teaching Science, Critical Exploration in Science Education, Worcester, MA, 2015
  • International STEM Conference, Critical Exploration in Teacher Education/Science Education - Honolulu, HI, 2014
  • Piaget Society: Critical Exploration in Science Education – Toronto, CA, 2015
  • Finding Supports for Learners Developing Scientific Reasoning – Berkeley, CA, 2011
  • Critical Exploration with Typical and Atypical learners – Park City, UT, 2009
  • Community of Scholars Teacher Research: Critical Explorations in Science – Cambridge, MA, 2009, 2010, 2015 Evidence of Student Learning – Cambridge, MA, 2009