Danielle is interested in exploring children’s participation in inquiry, particularly around broadening participation in science learning across multiple settings. She construes broadening participation efforts as twofold: (1) engaging children from underrepresented non-dominant communities in science and (2) broadening the forms of participation and sensemaking that are recognized as productive for science learning. This second form of broadening participation requires both improving understanding of children’s everyday sensemaking practices and building opportunities for children to draw upon those practices in designed learning environments.


Current Projects

Representations for Teachers as Learners (RepTaLs)
PI: Joshua Danish

The RepTaLs project engages elementary-school teachers as learners, helping them to expand their repertoire of representations, and support their students engagement in the practice of modeling. This work helps teachers design lessons that are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards using phenomena-first, inquiry-based learning experiences for students. Teachers will engage in a multi-year cycles of professional learning focused on reflective practice by participating in video-clubs with fellow teachers to examine student engagement in science through the lens of representations and modeling. Danielle is particularly interested in how teachers engage with the reflective practice learning cycles, and how using video-reflection workshops can support teachers to notice student thinking in new ways.

Science through Technology Enhanced Play

PI: Noel Enyedy

Photo credit: Christine Lee

STEP draws upon new motion-tracking technologies and mixed-reality to support classroom science learning through imaginative and embodied play. Danielle collaborates in designing and testing prototypes, analyzing data, writing for conferences and publication, and supporting Graduate Student Researchers. In her STEP research, Danielle is examining the intertwined roles of affect, agency, and embodiment within sociodramatic play. She is particularly excited to examine how a designed learning setting can support embodied sensemaking as a central resource for learning about complex science phenomena.

Early Learning Across Contexts
PI: Reed Stevens

figure-3cELAC was a longitudinal study of young children’s learning and practices across settings that was funded by the Learning in Informal and Formal Environments (LIFE) Center, a NSF Science of Learning Center. The ELAC team of researchers collected video data of naturally occurring interactions across families (homes, yards, parks, zoos, stores) and classrooms (classrooms, gyms, playgrounds, parks). Danielle analyzed both phases of data of the same children over time, first in the preschool phase when children were ages 2-4, and then the early-elementary phase when children were ages 6-8. She also designed and collected the early-elementary phase data, incorporating participant-collected video and reflection-interviews in addition to ethnographic-video recordings of naturally occurring activity. Danielle authored and co-authored multiple conference papers and presentations. Her dissertation focuses exclusively on the ELAC project, as do several manuscripts currently in preparation.

In her writing, Danielle has developed a conceptualization of inquiry as a members’ pheonomenon. This conceptualization of inquiry captures a range of young children’s activity in families, shedding light on the diversity of sensemaking resources that children draw upon to better understand their world. She has also developed methods for tracing sensemaking practices within families, and has developed ways of capturing diverse forms of interaction (sensemaking practices, activities, demonstrable values) in relation to each other. This works helps explore how children come to experience the world in particular ways. In her ongoing work, Danielle is tracing sensemaking practices from home to school settings to better understand how children attempt to recruit their preschool teachers to engage with them in familiar forms of inquiry.