Ph.D. in Education Student
School of Education
February 1, 2014
Research Focuses on Teacher Learning and Development
Jennifer is a third year Ph.D. student specializing in Learning, Cognition, and Development (LCD) in the School of Education. She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Social Behavior and a minor in Education from the University of California, Irvine. She is interested in studying how to best support new teachers in their learning and development. She also is interested in studying the cultural factors and school structures that influence teacher retention, teaching practices, and student learning.
Jennifer’s interest in education, teaching, and learning stemmed from her undergraduate field study experiences in child care facilities and elementary classrooms.
I shadowed teachers and observed the dynamics that occurred in the different environments and was able to see the impact that particular pedagogical strategies and teacher competence had on student learning and child development.
Her interest in education and learning took her overseas to Taiwan upon graduating from UC Irvine, and she interned as a research assistant at the Academia Sinica in Taiwan.
During this period, I had the opportunity to work with longitudinal data sets. I analyzed the social implications that resulted from the cultural perspectives of students and families living in the local city districts. I spent my time researching gender differences in parental expectations — in particular, if there were different educational expectations depending on the gender of their child.
Knowing that she wanted to pursue a career in education and working with children, Jennifer continued her education at UC Irvine and received her Master of Arts in Teaching degree as well as Multiple Subject Teacher Credential. Her teaching experiences have encompassed multiple grade levels and allowed her to work with students with different learning needs and cultural backgrounds; such as students in the GATE program and English Language Learners.
Having experienced the pressures that new teachers face during the induction period, I realized that the level of support that is provided during this critical period can impact the way teachers teach and influence the development of their teacher identity.
As a Ph.D. in Education student, Jennifer is focusing her research on teacher learning and development, especially during the pre-service and induction periods. She has worked with Dr. Elizabeth van Es in studying pre-service teacher learning and is investigating how learning to analyze teaching through video records influences pre-service secondary mathematics teachers’ practices. Under Dr. van Es’s advising, Jennifer investigates pre-service teacher ‘noticing’ of student mathematical thinking during instruction, and she presented with Dr. van Es on their paper titled “Attending to Student Thinking: What do pre-service teachers notice?” at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) conference in San Francisco in May of 2013.
Jennifer also is part of the Teacher Learning Research Group and works with Dr. Rossella Santagata with the Learning to Learn from Mathematics Teaching Project.
This project is a longitudinal study that follows pre-service teachers during their credential program through their first three years of teaching.
Jennifer volunteers her time teaching children Mandarin Chinese. She enjoys spending time with her family, watching movies, and reading up on pop culture news.