Professor Profiles


Darren Hoeg, PhD, MEd, BEd, BSc

Assistant Professor


Secondary Education

About Me

Darren Hoeg is Assistant Professor of science and environmental education in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta, Canada.  Darren’s perspectives on science education stem from initial degrees in microbiology and entomology, and early career experiences with agricultural research, in the Atlantic provinces and New England states. A love for teaching compelled Darren into education; he taught middle and high school sciences for 9 years in international schools in the Philippines, South Korea, China and Japan.  Growing awareness of and interest in seemingly dominant values and practices in science teaching brought Darren back home for graduate degrees in science education to study these phenomena.  Through critical ethnographic and post structural perspectives involving analysis of discourse, Darren has inquired into cultural aspects of science education as a way to generate knowledge about how dominant practices and discourse shape teacher subjectivity and practice.  This knowledge can provide an interpretive lens to teachers and education communities to evaluate the way things are in science education, and therefore how they might be transformed.  Darren teaches courses pertaining to science education, environmental education, and outdoor education, in the Department of Secondary Education, and is a member of the Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education (CMASTE).


2016 Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Dissertation Title: Constitutions of Nature by Teacher Practice and Discourse in Ontario Grade 9 and 10 Academic Science
Supervisor: Dr. Larry Bencze

2010 M.Ed.
York University, Toronto, ON
Thesis Title:
Effects of an Environmental Education Intervention on Preservice Teachers’ Environmental Perceptions
Supervisor: Dr. Sarah Barrett

2004 B.Ed. in Elementary Education and high school Biology, George Mason University, VA, USA

1995 B.Sc. with honours in Biology, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, NS


I have varied interests in science and environmental education research, ranging from sociological investigations on the institutional production of subjectivities in school science to comparative international perspectives. My recent academic work is oriented from sociocultural perspectives and methodology to address how social oppressions may be linked to science education’s exclusionary practices, as well as how subjectivity can be constituted by discourses in science education. I have conducted research to answer questions about the presence of human-centered discourses such as anthropocentrism, neoliberalism and biocapitalism in school science, such as: How are nature-human relationships represented in school science? How are human-centered discourses enacted by teachers and students in science class? How might we undertake questioning and critique of human-centered discourse with a mind towards school science reform? How are neoliberal and biocapitalist discourses influential in the development of public science education policy? The underlying theme of my work involves finding ways to disrupt what has been taken for granted in science education and to consider how science education might be involved in re-building sustainable relationships between ourselves, our communities, and nature. My analytical focus has been primarily on potential junctures of the artificial binary of Humanist dualisms between the self/other, structure/agency and human/nature. I believe I have broken new ground on science teacher enactment of nature-human relationships, as these binaries are tenaciously resistant to sociological methods of study in general, and theories that begin to bridge these boundaries have been seldom applied to school science research.

Associated research interests have focused on normative neoliberal and biopolitical discourses in school science, and how these discourses might be disrupted through science education involving, for example, activism, and environmental education. A key focus in this research has involved critical evaluation of STEM education. Findings have identified strong neoliberal and biopolitical influences in STEM education, which, I suggest, are likely to inculcate subjectivities in teachers and students amenable to the advancement of transnational techno-science industry, but fall short of goals of meeting diverse student needs and social/environmental justice. Instead, I advocate for socially just STEM education that allows teachers and students to design learning experiences that meet community needs.

Refereed Journal Articles

Hoeg, D. (forthcoming). Discourse analysis of STEM teaching texts from Canada: Questioning     purposes of STEM education. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology     Education.    

Hoeg, D. (forthcoming). The constitution of nature by teacher practice in secondary school science.      Science Education.

Hoeg, D. & Bencze, L. (In Press). Rising against a gathering storm: A biopolitical analysis of     citizenship in STEM policy. Cultural Studies of Science Education. Special Edition on     Biopolitics.

Hoeg, D. & Bencze, L. (2017). Values underpinning STEM education in the USA: An analysis of the Next Generation Science Standards. Science Education, 101(2), 278-301.

Hoeg, D., Lemelin, N. & Bencze, L. (2015). Socio-political development of private school children mobilising for disadvantaged others. Cultural Studies of Science Education 10 (4), 1155–1174.

Hoeg, D. (2015). Ruling relations in school science: reorganising the social relations of school science     through an emancipatory sociology for the people. Journal of Activist Science and Technology     Education 5(2), xx-xx.

Inwood, H. & Hoeg, D (2015). Going DEEPER: Outdoor and experiential learning in initial teacher education. Pathways: The Ontario Journal of Outdoor Education, 27(3),7-11.

Hoeg, D. (2011). Curriculum and creativity: One teacher’s story of including science content in STSE-activism education. The Crucible 42(5).

Book Chapters

Hoeg, D. (invited, accepted). Encounters, disequillibrium and new ontologies of nature: Considerations of spirituality in science education. In S. Jagger & P. Trafonas (Eds.), Handbook of Cultural Studies and Education. (pp. xx-xx). Routledge: UK

 Hoeg, D., El Halwany, S., Sperling, E., Zouda, M. & Bencze, L. (In Press). Confronting self–Stories of incipiency, disequilibrium, and becoming critical in science education. In J. Bazzul & C. Siry (Eds.), Critical voices in science education research: Narratives of academic journeys (pp. xx-xx). Dordrecht: Springer.

Hoeg, D., Williamson, T., & Bencze, L. (2017). School science ruling relations and     resistance to     activism in early secondary school science. In L. Bencze (Ed.). Science and Technology     Education Promoting Wellbeing for Individuals, Societies and     Environments. (pp. 49-66).     Dordrecht: Springer

Hoeg, D., DiGiacomo, A., El Halwany, S., Krstovic, M., Milanovic, Phillips-McNeil,C., M., Zouda, M., & Bencze, L. (2017). Science for citizenship: Using Prezi for education about critical socio-    scientific issues. In L. Bencze (Ed.) Science and Technology Education Promoting Wellbeing     for Individuals, Societies and Environments. (pp. 359-380). Dordrecht: Springer

Hoeg, D. & Barrett, S. (2016). Pre-service teachers’ beliefs about environmental education: Enthusiasm and misconceptions. In D. Karrow, M. DiGiuseppe, P. Elliott, Y. Gwekwerere & H. Inwood (Eds.) Canadian Perspectives on Initial Teacher Environmental Education Praxis Canadian Association for Teacher Education. (pp. 35-66). Canadian Association for Teacher Education (CATE): Ottawa, ON

Hoeg, D. & Bencze, L. (2014). Counter cultural hegemony: Student teachers experiences     implementing     STSE-activism. In L. Bencze & S. Alsop (Eds.), Activist Science and Technology Education. (pp. 575-596). Dordrecht: Springer


Orientations to teaching and pedagogy need to be, I believe, responsive to the individuals being taught. Part of being a responsive educator is to provide a safe learning environment so constructive, open dialogue, leading to learning can take place. I’ve strived through my teaching career to address sources of oppression, to disrupt taken for granted and marginalizing discourses, and to develop anti-oppressive pedagogy. Empathy, compassion and knowledge of identity issues and how these are pertinent to local communities have been key attributes for my success teaching in this setting. Issues of student identity emphasise the importance of relevance in teaching and learning. Issues of relevance are made prescient daily as teachers encounter the inescapable dissonance between learning about being a science teacher and being a science teacher. I engage preservice teachers in developing and teaching activities that represent what they likely would ideally be enacting in schools. Students design and teach lessons, constructing knowledge about how to be a teacher. These practical expectations are balanced, however, with the provision of intellectual tools and space for learners to question normative practices, engage in critique, and transform what may be taken for granted.  I strive to give each student the individual attention they need for an affirming learning experience. I engage in non-authoritarian interaction with students that encourages a degree of accessibility and comfort in approaching me with their questions or concerns. This, in turn, facilitates formative assessment and allows me to give detailed feedback that can provide direction toward effective, engaged learning. I am interested in students’ lives, and value the unique experiences and knowledge students hold, which enables me to be responsive to their learning needs. Ultimately, such knowledge and experiences become the guideposts by which the progression toward required professional and transformative learning is informed.

Courses Taught

  • EDSE 355/356 – Curriculum and Teaching for Secondary School, University of Alberta (Fall, 2017)
  • EDSE  451- Integrating Theory and Classroom Practice in the Advanced Professional Term, University of Alberta (Winter, 2018)
  • EDSE  455 Curriculum and Teaching for Secondary School Science Majors II, University of Alberta (Winter, 2018)
  • Research Methods, School of Early Childhood Studies, Ryerson University
  • Primary/Junior Curriculum and Teaching in Science and Environmental Education (CTL 7018H), Master of Teaching Program, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/UT
  • Science and Technology for Educational Administrators, York University (in Beijng, China)
  • Junior/Intermediate Science Education, Brock University
  • Primary/Junior Science and Technology, Brock university
  • Junior/Intermediate Science and Technology, Brock University
  • Environmental and Outdoor Education, Brock University