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About


Assistant Professor, Cognitive Scientist, &
Founder of RetrievalPractice.org

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About


Assistant Professor, Cognitive Scientist, &
Founder of RetrievalPractice.org

Ten years ago, as a pre-service elementary teacher and college student, I continuously labored in vain. Why did I, and my students, forget information so quickly? Why is student achievement stagnant? How can we fix a broken system? Can we fix a broken system?

In a college course, I had my first encounter with scientific research on human learning and memory. I had no idea such a thing existed. Nearly instantaneously, as I sat in the lecture hall, my frustration about the dismal state of education and my fascination about the science of learning collided. From this single experience, I was determined to explore and understand how learning works, while building connections between educators and scientists to strengthen evidence-based education.

Now, more than a decade later, I am continuing my mission to examine how learning works, apply it in the real world, and transform education. My current initiatives include disseminating research about retrieval practice, publishing findings from cognitive science, facilitating professional development workshops, and collaborating with numerous organizations worldwide.

For more information, click here to view my CV. And please don't hesitate to get in touch via Twitter, LinkedIn, or email.

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Professional Experience


Learning in the laboratory, the classroom, and the world.

Professional Experience


Learning in the laboratory, the classroom, and the world.

Throughout my career, I have pursued diverse experiences: as an academic researcher, as an elementary school teacher, and also as an education policy maker. At the outset of my career, I was certain that in order to effectively bring these groups together to address critical challenges in education, it would be vital to gain firsthand understanding of these perspectives. In other words, I wanted to “walk the walk” before I “talked the talk.”

With a unique combination of talents, I aim to transform education via evidence-based learning strategies and methods. As a scientist, I apply my expertise when translating cognitive science for educators, students, and the public. As a former K-12 teacher, I am familiar with the challenges that educators face, and accordingly, I strive to provide classroom recommendations that are practical and straightforward. Finally, as a policy maker, I am mindful of the complexities that shape curricula, evaluation, classrooms, districts, states, and higher education.

Most recently, I founded RetrievalPractice.org, a "hub" of resources for educators (K-12 and higher ed) and a broad audience about retrieval practice: a powerful evidence-based tool for improving learning. I encourage you to visit RetrievalPractice.org, subscribe for updates, and contact me with your thoughts and feedback.

Here are a few highlights about my professional experience:

  • Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis
  • Conducted more than 10 years of cognitive science and retrieval practice research in K-12 classrooms
  • Certified as an elementary school teacher, with teaching experience in K-12 and higher education
  • Policy experience at the U.S. Department of Education and the Illinois State Board of Education
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Retrieval Practice


A powerful strategy to improve learning.

Retrieval Practice


A powerful strategy to improve learning.

Education is in dire need of transformation. For years, parents, students, educators, and politicians have asked, “Why is our education system ineffective?” Instead, I urge you to ask a different question: “Why do we still use a system that has been shown to be ineffective?”

Simultaneously, for more than 100 years, cognitive scientists have established robust teaching strategies that dramatically improve learning. One of the most powerful evidence-based tools is retrieval practice. When teachers emphasize pulling information “out” from students’ minds (e.g., asking students to retrieve information on a quiz), long-term learning is dramatically improved. On the other hand, when teachers emphasize getting information “in” to students’ minds (e.g., lecturing or rereading textbook chapters), learning fades rapidly. Recent advances in retrieval practice research confirm that this powerful strategy improves long-term learning in authentic educational settings, including K-12 classrooms, undergraduate courses, and medical education programs.

RetrievalPractice.org is a growing online “hub” of empirical findings, practical tips, and specific tools and guides for implementing retrieval practice in classrooms. With these resources, educators in K-12 and higher education can harness the power of retrieval practice to transform and dramatically improve learning. 

For more information about this resource, and to download a free guide about retrieval practice, please visit www.retrievalpractice.org.

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Press & Awards


Support for the science of learning.

Press & Awards


Support for the science of learning.

From early historians to modern elected officials, people have demanded that the science of learning be applied to education. Recent research on learning has intensified, but dissemination is slow. By “giving research away,” scientists can increase public understanding of effective educational strategies based on scientific evidence and data.  

Fortunately, findings from the science of learning are making their way into schools, universities, and households. I am honored that my research on retrieval practice, conducted in collaboration with colleagues around the world, has been featured in the popular press, recent books, and podcasts. 

 

In addition, numerous organizations have generously supported my research in cognitive science. I greatly appreciate their contributions and commitment to improving education via evidence-based strategies. My research would not have been possible otherwise.