Kim  Cheek

Assistant Professor

Childhood Education, Literacy, and TESOL • College of Education & Human Services

Areas of Expertise

STEM Education


Ph.D. Education (science)

University of Durham



M.S. Geosciences

Mississippi State University



M.Ed. Elementary Education

Towson University



B.A. Elementary and Special Education

Goucher University



Dr. Kim Cheek is a native of Pennsylvania but has lived in a variety of places inside the U.S. and overseas. She has a Ph.D. in science education from Durham University in the UK., as well as masters’ degrees in elementary education and the geosciences. Kim has 11 years of full-time teaching experience as an elementary and middle school classroom teacher and an elementary special education teacher. Prior to coming to the University of North Florida, she was a member of the elementary and early childhood education faculty at Valley Forge Christian College in Pennsylvania.  At UNF, Kim teaches courses in STEM education.

Her primary research focus is on helping students apply ideas about temporal, spatial, and numeric scale to science learning. She has published in several international journals and has presented her work at conferences both in and outside the U.S. Her most recent study looks at how Indonesian children’s ideas about proportional relationships impact their understanding of geologic processes. Her secondary research interest is teacher reflective practice. She is currently collecting data for a longitudinal study on novice teachers’ beliefs about effective practices for differentiating instruction and their self-efficacy.



Phi Beta Kappa


National Science Teachers Association

National Association of Geoscience Teachers

Geological Society of America

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

Council for Elementary Science International

Publications & Presentations

Recent Publications:

Cheek,K.A. (in review). How geoscience novices reason about temporal duration: The role of spatial thinking and large numbers.

Cheek,K.A. (April/May 2013). Washed away! Fourth graders model water's role in changing Earth's surface. Science and Children, 59(8), 52-56.

Cheek,K.A. (2012). Students' understanding of large numbers as a key factor in their understanding of geologic time. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 10(5), 1047-1069, doi: 10.1007/s10763-011-9312-1.

Cheek, K.A. (2011). Exploring the relationships between students' understanding of conventional time and geologic time. International Journal of Science Education. doi: 10.1080/09500693.2011.587032.

Cheek,K.A. (2010). A summary and analysis of twenty-seven years of geoscience conceptions research. Journal of Geoscience Education. 58, 122-134.

Cheek,K.A. (2010). Why is deep time troublesome knowledge? In Meyer, J.H.F, Land, R., & Baillie, C. (Eds.). Threshold Concepts and Transformational Learning.  Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers, 117-129.

Selected Presentations:

How do ideas about conventional time and large numbers influence students' understanding of deep (geologic) time? (25 March, 2012). National Association for Research in Science Teaching Annual International Conference, Indianapolis, IN.

Elementary extravaganza: Shadows that enlighten. (30 March, 2012). National Science Teachers Association Annual Conference, Indianapolis, IN. (invited presentation)

Thinking about deep time: The intersection of temporal, spatial, and numeric reasoning. (9 October, 2011). Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN.

Why is geologic time troublesome knowledge? (18 June, 2008). Threshold Concepts Symposium: From Theory to Practice, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

If you build it will them come?  Fostering teacher buy-in in the PDS, Multiple institutions creating PDS partnerships, and Pennsylvania's urban PDS partnerships. (March 2005). Three papers co-presented at the National Professional Development Schools Conference, Orlando, FL.

CheekContact Information

Building 57, Room 2210

(904) 620-2794