Photo: Valerie Otero

Valerie Otero

  • Professor

Current Work Location:
University of Colorado at Boulder
Fleming Building, Room 177A

/ 303-492-7403

 Personal Website



  • PhD Physics Education, University of California, San Diego & San Diego State Universities, 2001
  • MS Geophysics, University of California, San Diego, 1995
  • BS Physics, University of New Mexico, 1991


Valerie Otero is professor of science education. Dr. Otero’s research explores the dynamic nature of the learning environment and how it influences (and is influenced by) the evolution of students’ ideas. She also studies prospective and practicing teachers’ conceptions of students’ prior knowledge, and teachers’ conceptions of the use of students’ prior knowledge for teaching and learning. Her teaching interests are in the areas of elementary science methods, the nature of science, and physics for prospective elementary teachers.


Dr. Otero is a member of several professional organizations such as the American Association of Physics Teachers, National Science Teachers Association, National Association of Research on Science Teaching, and the American Educational Research Association.