The Learning and Mind Sciences emphasis area engages in innovative and interdisciplinary research and training on the foundations of human learning across three strands: Cognition, Design, and Social Context; Assessment, Measurement, and Psychometrics; and Neurodevelopment and Educational Research. Our faculty and graduate students not only conduct research that has implications for educational environments, but also work directly within and in partnership with educational institutions and learning contexts. This emphasis area also shares unique research and graduate education connections with the UC Davis MIND Institute.
32 units are required, suggested courses include the following:
Courses in Education
210 – The Psychology of School Learning (4)
211 – Social & Situative Perspectives on Learning & Cognition (4)
213 – Individual Assessment (4)
215 – Research on Achievement Motivation in Education (4)
Courses in Psychology
212A – Developmental Psychology: Cognitive & Perceptual Development (4)
212B – Developmental Psychology: Social, Emotional & Personality Development (4)
230 – Cognitive Psychology (4)
245 – Social Psychology (4)
263 – Topics in Cognitive Psychology (4)
264 – Topics in Psycholinguistics (4)
Courses in Human Development
200B – Middle Childhood and Adolescence (4)
217 – Development of Cortical and Perceptual Laterality (3)
234 – Children’s Learning and Thinking (3)
238 – The Context of Individual Development (3)
*Any course marked with an asterisk is a proposed course with a tentative course number. Proposed courses are offered as sections of EDU 292, Special Topics in Education, until they have completed the approval process.
Nicole Sparapani is an assistant professor in the School of Education, and she also holds a faculty appointment at the UC Davis MIND Institute. Her research interests center around the development and evaluation of effective educational practices for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Sparapani practiced as a certified speech-language pathologist on an interdisciplinary team serving preschool children with ASD for several years before pursuing her Ph.D. in Communication Science and Disorders at Florida State University and postdoctoral training at Arizona State University.
Specializing in educational and psychological assessments, Jamal Abedi’s research focuses on testing for English language learners and issues concerning the technical characteristics and interpretations of these assessments. Abedi is the author of many publications in the assessment of and accommodations for English-language learners. He is on the advisory committees for several major assessment organizations and advises a number of states on testing for English learners and children with disabilities.
There are seven million exceptional children with special needs in our American school system, such as children with autism spectrum development. They have the right to appropriate and comparable educational opportunities. Truly meeting the needs of these children requires a commitment to integrating advances in educational science, neuroscience, and social policy.
Emily J. Solari is associate professor of education. Her research focuses on language and literacy development in both Spanish-speaking English learners and students considered at-risk for reading failure.
Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2007. Education.
Special Education, Disabilities and Risk Studies Emphasis
Interdisciplinary Cognitive Science and Human Development Emphasis
M.A., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2003. Education.
Special Education, Disabilities & Risk Studies Emphasis
Megan Welsh joined the School in July 2014 as an assistant professor in educational assessment and measurement. Since 2008, she was an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut. Her primary areas of research include test validity analysis, the use of assessment as an educational reform lever, grading, and evaluation of educational programs.
Tobin White studies the use of technology in teaching and learning mathematics. He has a particular interest in using mobile computing to support novel approaches to engaging learners with STEM content and practices. Using a design-based research approach, he develops collaborative problem-solving tools and activities in order to investigate intersections between conceptual and social dimensions of learning. A former high school mathematics teacher himself, he has also worked for more than a decade in teacher preparation.