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Biology and Agriculture

W.C. Morris Building
Room 306
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Dr. Fanson Kidwaro, Chair
Phone: 660-543-4933


Dr. Parker Stuart



A.A., Iowa Central Community College 2001
B.A., Biomedical, University of Nothern Iowa, 2003
M.A., Biology, University of Northern Iowa, 2008
Ph.D., Learning, Teaching and Curriculum, University of Missouri - Columbia, 2014

My research interests lie in three different but related areas in science education at the collegiate level utilizing both quantitative and qualitative methods. My main research focus centers on undergraduates’ alternative conceptions of physiology. I specifically look at alternative conceptions of the cardiovascular system but I am starting to branch out into other physiology content areas. Alternative conceptions are ideas that students hold that do not align with the scientifically valid explanation to a phenomena. For example, a widely held alternative conception in the area of the cardiovascular system deals with the circulation pathway of blood. Some students think that blood passes from the right ventricle straight into the left atrium bypassing the lungs.  The purpose of my research is to identify these alternative conceptions in order to make myself and others more effective teachers by targeting these alternative conceptions to help alleviate this conception.

I am also interested in the developing concept inventories for the ideas that I uncover through the probing of students alternative conceptions I am currently in the process of developing questions for a cardiovascular concept inventory and testing these questions in physiology courses at the undergraduate level. The development of this instrument would help physiology faculty identify challenging areas for their students in courses which traditionally have large enrollment. A concept inventory is ideal for these large enrollment courses since faculty need quick, easily administered methods to aid them in their teaching.

Finally, I am beginning to venture into investigating university physiology faculty member’s pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). Pedagogical content knowledge is the intersection of faculty member’s content knowledge, in this case physiology, and the instructional strategies they utilize in their classroom to convey this information. Research at the collegiate level is lacking in how faculty members learn to teach since they are not pedagogically trained during their graduate work.

Selected publications

Stuart, P.E., Stuart, K.D., Milanick, M.A. (2017). The Peeing Pitcher: An Inquiry Based Lab of the Renal system. American Biology Teacher. 79(5),387-392

Stuart, P.E., Lees, K.D., Milanick, M.A. (2014). Are they bloody guilty? Blood doping with simulate samples. American Biology Teacher. 76(5),328-332

Sadler, T. D., Romine, W., Stuart, P. E., & Merle-Johnson, D. (2013). Game-based curricula in biology classes: Differential effects among varying academic levels. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 50, 479-499. (DOI: 10.1002/tea.21085)



Department of Biology and Agriculture
Office: WCM 300
Phone: 660-543-4308