Hello and welcome,

zinger_d

I am dedicated to improving teacher learning opportunities so that teachers can design and implement meaningful science instruction for students from historically underrepresented backgrounds. To do this, I research teacher preparation and ongoing teacher professional development as critical ways of improving teaching and student learning. I primarily locate my research in high-need schools and districts, focusing on science instruction and the instructional technologies that support it. I also engage in the design and development of teacher professional development. My goal is to inform researchers and practitioners who prepare and teach teachers. 

I began my career in education as a high school science teacher in Santa Ana, California, where I had a direct impact on student instruction and their opportunities to engage in meaningful science  learning. It was here that I learned that every student can learn, given the right opportunities.

As a teacher I also helped develop programs to engage students in deeper learning through a summer bridge program and a year-end science fair. I also mentored and supervised student teachers in my own classroom. I then became an administrator, leading two schools and 60 teachers, where I worked extensively on designing and implementing teacher professional development  that centered on teacher identified instructional challenges.

At UC Irvine, I have collaborated on and led a number of projects researching and developing teacher professional development, teacher preparation, and teacher learning through and using technology. These projects include the Equitable Science Curriculum Integrating Arts in Public Education (ESCAPE) where I worked as part of a research team to study and improve an elementary grade science professional development. More recently I was part of a team that worked on advancing the use of digital museum assets in schools, where we evaluated and improved professional development outcomes for social studies teachers. This project focused on a digital platform, the Smithsonian Learning Lab, where I worked alongside UC Irvine researchers and a team from the Smithsonian. We worked on improving professional development in the use of the digital platform to improve teacher practice and student learning. My current project examines how moderate supports after a professional development sequence help teachers implement science instruction in elementary grades.

In my dissertation work, I examine an alternative teacher certification program aimed at preparing primarily Latinx and African American teacher candidates for instruction in segregated urban schools. In this project I work closely with first year teachers as they prepare and begin teaching in their own classroom to identify ways of improving urban science teacher preparation and opportunities for students to meaningfully engage with and learn science.

I have also had opportunity to apply my research through my teaching. At UC Irvine I taught an online course twice on issues in K-12 education, where individualized instruction was facilitated through technology. At CSU Dominguez Hills, I taught a Masters level course on teaching with technology three times, facilitating teacher development of technology rich curricular design.

I am active in two research labs at UC Irvine, the Digital Learning Lab and the Education Center for Research on Teacher Development and Professional Practice and co-lead a doctoral student group,  Diverse Education Community and Doctoral Experience (DECADE).