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Photo of Wink, Donald J.

Donald J. Wink


Department of Chemistry


Building & Room:

1570-T SSB


1240 W. Harrison St.

Office Phone:

(312) 413-2332


CV Download:



Donald J. Wink is a professor in Learning Sciences and the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Chemistry, where he also served as head of the department from 2000-2005.

Wink’s projects share a theme of crossing boundaries, often using student pathways for direction. In undergraduate chemical education he has NSF-supported material development projects that led to a ‘math-aware’ preparatory chemistry textbook (Practice of Chemistry) and project-based laboratories (Working with Chemistry). He was co-PI for the Center for Authentic Science Practice in Education that developed methods to have first and second year undergraduate chemistry students do research in their lab courses.  Finally, he works in UIC’s innovative natural science general education program for students in the BA urban education major.

He has also been very active on issues of teaching in K-12 settings, including on NSF GK-12 projects for intervention in schools. This led to a major curriculum and professional development project for the Chicago Public Schools. Currently he is been PI on the NSF-supported Chicago Transformation Teacher Institutes, involving five Chicago-area universities in conjunction with CPS.

His Learning Sciences work focuses on learning in chemistry and on teacher development. In addition, he contributes regularly to questions of how particular constructs—such as relevance, constructivism, and inquiry—work in science and science education.

He earned his PhD at Harvard and an SB degree at University of Chicago. He is active in the American Chemical Society, serving currently as Chair-elect of the Division of Chemical Education and as a member of the Society Committee on Education.

Selected Publications

“Using the Activity Model of Inquiry to Enhance General Chemistry Students’ Understanding of Nature of Science.” Sara Marchlewicz* and Donald J. Wink. J. Chem. Educ.201188, 1041-1047.

“Lorenzo’s Oil as a vehicle for teaching chemistry content, processes of science, and sociology of science in a general education chemistry classroom.” Donald Wink. J. Chem. Educ.201188, 1380–1384.

“These Kids Can’t Do Inquiry, Another Urban Legend “, Daubenmire, Patrick L. ; Wink, Donald J. ; Tarnoff, Adam. In Investigating Classroom Myths through Research on Teaching and Learning. Bunce, D., Ed., 2011, 83-110.

“Student learning through journal writing in a general education chemistry course for pre-elementary education majors. “Michael T. Dianovsky & Donald J. Wink. Science Education.201296, 543–565.

“Guessing the number of candies in a jar? Who needs guessing?” Stephanie A. Ryan & Donald Wink. J. Chem. Educ2012, 89(9), pp1171-1173.


1985 - PhD, Harvard University, Chemistry
1980 - SB, University of Chicago, Chemistry

Licensures and Certifications

  • UIC Teaching Excellence Award
  • Silver Circle Award
  • University Scholar

Professional Memberships

American Chemical Society

Research Currently in Progress

Chemical Education in high school and college settings. Inquiry instruction. Teacher education in STEM. Connections of mathematics and science.