Michael Bechtel

Assistant Professor of Science Education

(319) 352-8380

(319) 352-8606


More about Michael Bechtel

B.A., Wartburg College, 1994
M.Ed., University of Wisconsin, 2007
Ed.D., Edgewood College, 2012

Current Research/Areas of Interest
I am interested in the sciences (specifically the general fields of biology, chemistry, and physics) and educational practices (constructivism, metacognition, student-teacher relationships, academic retention, HOTS, STEM, NGSS, etc.). Two special areas of interest are biophilia (as described by E.O. Wilson and supported by H. Gardner) and the interweaving of content, andragogy, and content andragogy (as described by J. Ogden).


  • Biophilia refers to the appropriate and productive use of living organisms in the classroom setting
  • Andragogy does not refer to the age of the student but refers directly to four crucial and active assumptions (according to M. Knowles):

      1. moving focus from dependence to self-direction
      2. growing a reservoir of experience to serve as a resource for learning
      3. orienting learning towards developmental tasks
      4. applying classroom learning to real life challenges

The realm of science education is an interesting field that allows for intertwining endeavors built from each individual discipline (sciences and education). I work to assist students with forming their own approaches to teaching (and understanding) science.

I have taught the sciences in public schools, community colleges, technical colleges, and university systems in three states (Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin) for the first nineteen years of my career. I have received awards from Kennedy Center/Stephen Solheim (’16), Chellevold (’15), Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers (’13), Gustav Ohaus (’12), WKBT (’10), Horace Mann (’09), Central High School (’08), Wartburg College (’07), Saydel High School (’02, ’01, ’00, ’99, ’98), and Iowa Academy of the Sciences (’00) for teaching performance and interactive lesson planning. My personal interest in biophilia focuses on exotic animal and herpetile husbandry.

Courses Taught
BI 120 Science of Water
BI 131 Biology of Ordinary Things
BI 250 Introductory Research
BI 281 Field Experience Mentor
BI 295 Ecology and Culture of the Amazon II
BI 315 Ornithology
BI 371 Animal Research
CH 450 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
BI 470 Secondary Content Methods: Biology
CH 470 Secondary Content Methods: Chemistry
ED 483 Student Teacher Supervision
GM 295 Ecology and Culture of the Amazon I
LS 450 Independent Student Learning
MA 470 Secondary Content Methods: Mathematics
PHY 120 Science of Water
PHY 130 Physics of Ordinary Things
PHY 132 Earth Science
PHY 470 Secondary Content Methods: Physics
SCI 385 Elementary Science Methods

Mail address
Biology Department
Wartburg College
100 Wartburg Blvd
PO Box 1003
Waverly, Iowa, USA 50677-0903