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Terzian, Sevan

Schools, Society, & Culture
School of Teaching & Learning
College of Education

University of Florida
2403 B Norman Hall
PO Box 117048
Gainesville FL 32611
Fax: 352-392-9193

Research Biography

I am a professor of social foundations of education in the School of Teaching & Learning. I teach graduate and undergraduate courses on the history of American education and the philosophical foundations of education. My scholarship has focused on the history of the American high school; the history of science, gender, and education in the postwar era; and conflicts among different governing bodies in education in the latter half of the twentieth century. My book, Science Education and Citizenship:  Fairs, Clubs, and Talent Searches for American Youth, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in January 2013. I also co-edited a book, American Education in Popular Media: From the Blackboard to the Silver Screen, published in 2015 by Palgrave Macmillan. I am currently researching a book-length study of the racial and cultural dimensions of giftedness in twentieth-century American education.


Ph.D. – Indiana University, 2000, History of Education

Ph.D. – Indiana University, 2000, American Studies

M.A. – Indiana University, 1993, History

B.A. – Cornell University, 1991, History (cum laude)

Key Professional Appointments

Professor, University of Florida, School of Teaching & Learning, 2014-present.

Associate Professor, University of Florida, School of Teaching & Learning, 2006-2014.

Assistant Professor, University of Florida, School of Teaching & Learning, 2004-2006.

Assistant Professor, University of Florida, Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, & Foundations, 2000-2004.

Activities & Honors

Graduate Teacher of the Year.  College of Education.  University of Florida.  2012-2013.

Robert B. Primack Memorial Foundations of Education Faculty Award, 2013.

University of Florida Research Foundation Professor, 2009-2012

Board of Editors, History of Education Quarterly, 2012-2015.

Board of Directors, History of Education Society, 2013-2016.


Principal Investigator.  “Race and Science Education in a Segregated State:  The Alabama Junior Academy of Science, 1933-1970.”  College Research Incentive Fund.  College of Education.  University of Florida.  2010-2011.  Grant amount:  $6,000.

Principal Investigator. “Enlisting Science Education for National Strength: An Examination of Historical Precedents.” The Spencer Foundation. 2008-2009. Grant amount: $39,075.

Principal Investigator. “Tracing Professional Educators’ Conceptions of ‘Giftedness’ and ‘Scientific Talent,’ 1928-1958.” College Research Incentive Fund recipient, College of Education, University of Florida. 2007-2008. Grant amount: $2,993.

Selected Publications


Sevan G. Terzian & Patrick A. Ryan, eds., American Education in Popular Media: From the Blackboard to the Silver Screen (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).

Sevan G. Terzian, Science Education and Citizenship:  Fairs, Clubs, and Talent Searches for American Youth, 1918-1958 (New York:  Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

Book Chapters

Sevan G. Terzian & Leigh Ann Osborne.  “International College Students.” (pp. 237-263).   Eds. Michael J. Cuyjet, Mary F. Howard-Hamilton, & Diane L. Cooper, Multiculturalism on Campus:  Theory, Models, and Practices for Understanding Diversity and Creating Inclusion (Sterling, VA:  Stylus Publishing, 2011).

Sevan G. Terzian. “Custodialism and Career Preparation in a Comprehensive High School, 1929-1942.” Eds. Barry M. Franklin & Gary McCulloch, The Death of the Comprehensive High School? Historical, Contemporary, and Comparative Perspectives, Vol. 1 (New York: Palgrave Press, 2007), 19-36.

Sevan G. Terzian “History of the American High Schol. “Eds. Kathryn M. Borman, Spencer E. Cahill, & Bridget A. Cotner, The Praeger Handbook of American High Schools (Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2007), 214-221.


Sevan G. Terzian & John L. Rury, “‘A highly selected strain of guinea pigs’:  The Westinghouse Science Talent Search and Educational Meritocracy, 1942-1958,” Teachers College Record  116 (5) (2014):  1-33.

Sevan G. Terzian & Leigh Shapiro, “Corporate Science Education:  Westinghouse and the Value of Science in Mid-Twentieth Century America,” Public Understanding of Science (published online May 21, 2013):  1-20.

Sevan G. Terzian, “The 1939-1940 New York World’s Fair and the Transformation of the American Science Extracurriculum.”  Science Education 93 (September 2009):  892-914.

Sevan G. Terzian, “‘Adventures in science’: casting scientifically talented youth as national resources on American radio, 1942-1958,” Paedagogica Historica 44 (June 2008): 309-325.