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Education


Shaping learning. Every day, everywhere.

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Education


Shaping learning. Every day, everywhere.

Whether in the classroom or outside the classroom, we all learn. Nurses learn complex information, computer scientists learn how to code, and teenagers learn how to drive a car. Learning is universal, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. 

In my hunt to discover how learning works, I’ve immersed myself in K-12 and higher education. In both settings, I’ve enjoyed my time as a student, an educator, a mentor, and a leader. I’ve become familiar with the challenges of today's education systems, too. Lack of time, money, energy, resources, and staff are widespread. 

These challenges won't disappear overnight (or within years or even decades). Taking small steps to improve education – through the use of evidence-based practices – is one way we can transform learning. Research helps us figure out learning, policy helps us revolutionize learning, and teaching helps us shape learning every day, everywhere. Successful teaching is critical for successful learning.

Here are a few highlights about my teaching experience:

  • Currently teaching psychological science to exceptional undergraduate students at the Berklee College of Music
  • Certified as an elementary school teacher, with teaching experience in K-12 public schools
  • Developed and taught rigorous curriculum in science and social studies for grades 2-9, including classroom, summer, and residential settings
  • Developed and taught two courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels about the science of learning and education policy
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Teaching


Learning in the classroom, from K-12 to higher education.

Teaching


Learning in the classroom, from K-12 to higher education.

As a K-12 educator, witnessing successful learning firsthand is enormously rewarding. Whether I was teaching in inner city classrooms or suburban classrooms, in St. Louis or in Chicago, building a connection with a student and helping them learn a new idea was captivating. It was these early experiences in K-12 classrooms that propelled my passion for understanding and improving learning.

As for higher education, I deeply appreciate the vast influence of a college or university experience on students’ development and careers. Just as one college course set me on my lifelong path, I strive to instill curiosity in others. I value the enormous responsibility of shaping learning, challenging ideas, and mentoring students. As an Assistant Professor at the Berklee College of Music, I teach psychological science to exceptional undergraduate music students. Psychology and cognitive science are relevant for all walks of life, particularly artists, performers, and writers.

My research on learning and memory propels my teaching. Most recently, I taught two courses at Washington University in St. Louis: "The Science of Effective Study Strategies" (based largely on this article) and "The Science and Politics of Testing in the United States" (based largely on my experience as Illinois’ Director of K-12 Assessment). In my courses, I integrate strategies derived from cognitive science, including retrieval practice, distributed practice, and frequent feedback. Students not only learn about psychological science; they engage in its benefits firsthand.

Feel free to contact me to request my syllabi or share your thoughts about teaching.

 

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Professional Development


Applying the science of learning with K-12 educators.

Professional Development


Applying the science of learning with K-12 educators.

I have had the opportunity to share my passion for evidence-based education with a variety of audiences, including K-12 school districts, educational associations, and teacher training programs. I'm honored to discuss cognitive science and retrieval practice research via keynotes, workshops, symposia, and consulting.

I offer a unique perspective as a former K-12 teacher, a published scientist, and the founder of RetrievalPractice.org. I recognize, first hand, that teachers need realistic, practical, and specific evidence-based tools to transform education. I translate the science of learning within the context of the daily challenges K-12 educators face, to ensure success while teachers wrestle with time, curricula, and classroom constraints.

For more information about my areas of expertise, please click here.