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Member Profile

Eric Worch


  • Higher Ed: Science, Researcher 


I am a former middle school and high school science teacher. I hold a Ph.D. in Anthropology, with specializations in primatology, human development and evolution, and in Curriculum and Instruction, with a specialization in science education. I also have a B.A. in Biology, M.A.T. in General Science, M.A. in Anthropology, and Certificate in Environmental Studies.

After eight years, I left University of Michigan-Flint as an Associate Professor to join the faculty at Bowling Green State University. My primary teaching area is science methods (all levels). I am an Associate Professor and in my seventh year at BGSU.  


I focus my research on attitudes, engagement and learning. Attitudes, how someone feels about her/himself or what s/he is doing, influences student engagement, and students must be engaged emotionally and intellectually to initiate and sustain meaningful learning.

Play is a major focus of my work because it is intrinsically-motivating and naturally engaging to young children and it is the primary medium through which they learn about their world.

Much of my understanding of play comes from my research on social and ecological factors associated with distinctive play behaviors and possible benefits of play in wild populations of East African monkeys. I have been able to apply this knowledge to develop educational play experiences for children at Toledo Zoo and Discovery Science Place. 


Selected Publications

Worch, E. A. (in press). Play-fighting initiating behaviors and responses in red colobus monkeys. American Journal of Play, 5(1).

Worch, E. A., Li, L., & Herman, T. L. (2012). Preservice early childhood teachers' self-efficacy and outcome expectancy for ICT integration in science instruction. Education Research and Perspectives, 39, 90-103.

Partin, M. L., Haney, J. J., Worch, E. A., Underwood, E. M, Nurnberger-Haag, J., Scheuermann, A. M., & Midden, W. R. (2011). Yes I Can!. The contributions of motivation and attitudes on course performance among biology non-majors. Journal of College Science Teaching, 40(6). 86-95.

Worch, E. A., & Haney, J. J. (2011). Nature's Neighborhood: A children's zoo designed to promote science learning through active play. Children, Youth and Environments. 21(2), 382-487.

Worch, E. A. (2010). Play behaviour in red colobus monkeys in Kibale National Park, Uganda. Folia Primatologica, 81, 163-176.