Inquiry Magazine Northwestern School of Education and Social Policy

FALL 2013


Tim Dohrer

Tim Dohrer, the new director of the Master of Science in Education program, is the former principal at New Trier Township High School. He has a PhD in curriculum and instruction from Pennsylvania State University.

Claudia Haase

Claudia Haase, an assistant professor in the Human Development and Social Policy program, studies life-span development with a focus on emotion, motivation and well-being and their neurobiological underpinnings. Her doctoral degree is from the University of Jena in Jena, Germany.

Heather Schoenfeld

Heather Schoenfeld, who earned her PhD in sociology at Northwestern, joins the School as an assistant professor. She researches law and society, race and inequality.


Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, Aspen Institute, “Mobilizing Social Networks in Early Childhood Education Centers,” $100,000; Aspen Institute and Evanston Community Foundation, “Developing a Two-Generation Program in Evanston, Illinois,” $31,360.

Kirabo Jackson, Spencer Founda- tion, “The Effect of Single-Sex Education on Academic Achievement, Socio-Behavioral Outcomes and STEM Participation in Middle School,” $40,000.

Kemi Jona, Baxter International Inc., “Bringing Biotechnology to the K-12 Classroom,” $189,975; Chicago Community Trust, “Hive Design Popup Studio,” $30,000; HP, “HP Catalyst Academy Fellows Grant,” $16,000; Motorola Solutions, “STEM Student Research,” $75,000; Siemens, “Innovation and Collaboration in STEM,” $43,888.

Dan Lewis, GRACE Inc., “GRACE Partnership to End Poverty in America,” $100,000.

Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, “CivicWeek Program for JKC Scholars,” $95,530.

Kimberly Scott, Humana Inc. and Verizon Sourcing LLC, “MSLOC Practicum for Humana and Verizon,” $20,000.

James Spillane, Sherwood Foundation and University of Nebraska, “NebraskaMATH,” $311,452.


Lindsay Chase-Lansdale has been named the Frances Willard Professor of Human Development and Social Policy.

Cynthia Coburn was a guest professor at the University of Oslo.

Fay Cook and her co-authors received the Political Science Association’s 2013 best paper award.

Tim Dohrer gave the School of Continuing Studies convocation address.

Kemi Jona gave a presentation to the Illinois General Assembly on STEM learning exchanges.

Eva Lam gave a talk in Hong Kong at the International Roundtable on Discourse and Digital Practices.

Carol Lee joined the board of directors of the Jean Piaget Society. She also won a Freedom Flame Award.

David Rapp gave an invited talk at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

Miriam Sherin won the Exemplary Research in Teaching and Teacher Education Award from the American Education Research Association for Mathematics Teacher Noticing.

James Spillane was awarded the 2013 Ver Steeg Research Fellowship.

Carol Lee Extends Learning Sciences to Barcelona University

Carol Lee Extends Learning Sciences to Barcelona University

Professor Carol Lee was one of eight prominent learning scientists who lectured at the First International Scientific Seminar in Learning Sciences in Barcelona, Spain. The series convened at the International University of Catalonia, which is establishing a learning sciences program to explore critical dimensions of learning.

A professor in SESP’s Learning Sciences program, Lee gave an in-depth presentation on “Interaction, Dialogue and Learning in the 21st Century.” Lee is widely known for her theory of cultural modeling that informs curriculum design by drawing on all students’ cultural intelligence. SESP’s Learning Sciences program, founded in 1992, was the first graduate program in learning sciences and has played a leadership role in graduate training and research.

Brian Reiser

Brian Reiser Co-Heads Innovative Project for Next-Generation Science Teaching Models

“We are at an exciting time in science education reform,” says professor Brian Reiser, a leader in the effort to improve science teaching in schools. Currently Reiser is collaborating on an innovative research-based teacher learning resource for K-12 science education called the Next Generation Science Exemplar.

The online library of videos and other resources helps teachers to incorporate the new Next Generation Science Standards based on the National Research Council’s recently released Framework for K-12 Science Education. Both draw on respected research to provide guidelines for improving K-12 science education in the United States. Reiser is a contributing author of the Framework.

“The focus on depth over breadth, coherence across years, and key role of scientific practices are all promising steps forward in the new standards,” says Reiser. “We are … helping teachers work with concrete examples of scientific practices playing out in classrooms.” He and his colleagues Sarah Michaels of Clark University and Jean Moon of Tidemark Institute have been designing, piloting and evaluating the web-based system, supported by a $200,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

Douglas Medin Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Professor Douglas Medin was honored with the William James Lifetime Achievement Award for Basic Research from the Association for Psychological Science. The award is the psychology association’s most prestigious honor.

The award recognizes a lifetime of significant intellectual contributions to the basic science of psychology and honors Medin as one whose work has had a profound impact on the field of psychological science. Medin’s research explores culture and moral values as they relate to reasoning and decision making, as well as culturally and community-based science education.

The immediate past president of the Association for Psychological Science, he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. He was named to the National Academy of Education in 2012.


Cynthia Coburn, W. Mata and L. Choi, “The Embeddedness of Teachers’ Social Networks,” Sociology of Education (2013).

Dan McAdams, “The Psychological Self as Actor, Agent and Author,” Perspectives on Psychological Science (2013); McAdams and K. C. McLean, “Narrative Identity,” Current Directions in Psychological Science (2013); McAdams, “The Positive Psychology of Adult Generativity” in J. Sinnott (Ed.), Positive Psychology (2013).

Nicky Newton and A. J. Stewart, “The Road Not Taken: Women’s Life Paths and Gender-Linked Personality Traits,” Journal of Research in Personality (2013).

S. R. Hinze, David Rapp, V. M. Williamson, M. J. Shultz, G. Deslongchamps and K. C. Williamson, “Students’ Processing of Novel STEM Visualizations,” Learning and Instruction (2013); M. Sauter, David Uttal, Rapp, M. Downing and Kemi Jona, “The Authenticity of Remote Labs and Simulations for Science Learning,” Distance Education (2013).

James Rosenbaum, K. Cepa and Janet Rosenbaum, “Beyond the One-Size-Fits-All College Degree,” Contexts (2013); J. L. Stephan and Rosenbaum, “Can High Schools Reduce College Enrollment Gaps with a New Counseling Model?” Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis (2013).