In my research, I focus on how students and teachers collaboratively tell stories about struggles to learn mathematics, science, and computer-science. In particular, I study how teachers and students respond to failure productively with plans for improvement and confidence to enact new routes toward learning. This practice of "debugging failure" makes collaboration, reflection, and perseverance vital aspects of a school culture and supports the design of individualized learning pathways. How learning communities work together to decide what counts as knowledge and what counts as success and failure are core questions in this research agenda. In addition, I study how students immerse creatively in the first-person viewpoint of concepts—leaving behind identities as students to momentarily and imaginatively become routers, particles, bees and the like—a powerful, even routine, process in cognition with roots in sociodramatic play.
I am currently an Assistant Professor at University of Minnesota’s Department of Educational Psychology.