Education is Art and Science

“Education is a field that is both an art and a science.” Dr. Joey Rider-Bertrand, LVC adjunct STEM instructor, believes this single sentence describes the fundamental approach STEM educators must take to be effective. Also the director of instructional services at Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13, she knows firsthand the need to pair the art—the unpredictability of teaching and learning—with research-based methods and practice throughout her work and teaching.

“My students should expect to think critically,” Rider-Bertrand explains. “They should form their conceptual understanding of topics and apply their thinking through writing, discourse, and projects.”

In her adjunct role for Lebanon Valley College’s Master of Science in STEM Education Program, Rider-Bertrand helps fellow educators refine their teaching skills according to this philosophy. She also brings her research interests in Integrative STEM Education and Curriculum Design to bear in the graduate courses. “I try to bring new information to the MSSE courses that I teach at LVC,” Rider-Bertrand says. “I am constantly adding to and revising courses based on current research and trends in the field.”

Rider-Bertrand uses feedback on assignments, annotating work, and conferences, either in person or over the phone, to push students to learn beyond the assignment and relate the material to real-world experiences.

Rider-Bertrand earned her B.S. in psychology and elementary education at Susquehanna University. She then earned her Master of Science Education from LVC, while teaching at the elementary level. She continued her education by studying Integrative STEM Education at Virginia Tech before acquiring her Doctor of Education degree from Delaware Valley University.

After her studies, Rider-Bertrand taught at the pre-kindergarten, elementary gifted, fifth grade, and high school levels in science. She served as a science, technology, and math specialist at the elementary level.

“I am always learning,” Rider-Bertrand notes. “I’m sure this is why I became an educator.”