William R. Penuel

Institute of Cognitive Science, University of Colorado at Boulder

Bill Penuel is a Professor of Learning Sciences and Human Development in the School of Education and Institute of Cognitive Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. He designs and studies curriculum materials, assessments, and professional learning experiences for teachers in science. He works in partnership with school districts and state departments of education, and the research he conducts is in support of educational equity in three dimensions: (1) equitable implementation of new science standards; (2) creating inclusive classroom cultures that attend to students’ affective experiences and where all students have authority for constructing knowledge together; and (3) connecting teaching to the interests, experiences, and identities of learners. His research employs a wide range of qualitative and quantitative research methods, including an approach his colleagues and he have developed called design-based implementation research (http://learndbir.org). Penuel’s teaching focuses on sociocultural approaches to learning and development and reaches pre-service teachers, doctoral students in learning sciences, teachers, and district and state leaders. He regularly offers workshops to researchers and education leaders on how to build and sustain research-practice partnerships and has authored two books on research-practice partnerships, Creating Research-Practice Partnerships in Education (Harvard Education Press, 2017), and Connecting Research and Practice for Educational Improvement (Routledge Press, 2018). In addition, he provides professional development to teachers and education leaders in the design of curriculum materials and assessments that address standards while also connecting to students’ interests, experiences, and identities. Penuel is an elected member of the National Academy of Education. He is also a Fellow of the International Society of the Learning Sciences, the International Society for Design and Development in Education, and the American Educational Research Association. He received his B.A. from Clark University in psychology in 1991, his Ed.M. in Counseling Processes from Harvard University in 1992, and his Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Clark University in 1996.

Publications and Content by William R. Penuel