Welcome! I am currently an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Curriculum & Instruction. As a learning scientist, I research how learning works and how we can make it happen more deeply and effectively.
Though I draw on broad theories that help us understand learning in general, my area of focus is in science education. I want to know how we can make science learning more meaningful. Most of us learned science by memorizing facts about the world, and we were told those facts would somehow be useful for our futures. While this approach has led to the success of some, it has disenfranchised others. We need to do better, and, thanks to recent advances in research on teaching and learning, we can.
My research aims to understand how to make science learning meaningful: both more like the discovery and knowledge-building work that professional scientists do, and more relevant to the immediate experiences of K-12 students. I focus both on understanding the processes by which students learn, and on how teachers learn to support student learning.