Leema Berland

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Curriculum & Instruction
School of Education
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Tel: 608/263.4600
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Leema K. Berland

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Leema K. Berland

Curriculum and Instruction (CI)

226-A Teacher Education Building  binoculars icon

Office: 608/263-2707


Curriculum Vitae

Personal Biography

Leema K. Berland earned her PhD in the Learning Sciences from Northwestern University in 2008. Prior to joining the WI faculty, Dr. Berland was an assistant professor in STEM education at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Berland is currently a Principal Investigator on the National Science Foundation funded project “Fostering Pedagogical Argumentation: Reasoning With and About Student Ideas” and Co-Principal Investigator on the NSF funded project “Supporting scientific practices in elementary and middle school classrooms.” Dr. Berland’s work focuses on supporting and understanding student engagement in the scientific practices and on helping teachers do the same.


Ph D, Learning Sciences
Northwestern University
Evanston, IL

BA, Computer Science, Educational Studies
Carleton College
Evanston, IL

Research Interests

As an Associate Professor in Science Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Leema Berland focuses on facilitating and studying students as they engage in the sensemaking practices of science, such as scientific argumentation, modeling, and explanation, as well as engineering design practices. To that end, Dr. Berland has explored how students interpret sensemaking work, how those interpretations influence their participation in the target practices, and why they interpret it in the ways that they do. Each of these questions is designed to better understand the dynamics of how and why students are able (or unable) to productively engage in scientific sensemaking. In addition, Dr. Berland has also explored ways to better support pre-service teachers in creating learning environments that will enable their future students to participate in the sensemaking practices of science. Dr. Berland’s work has been funded via numerous NSF grants, and resulted in publications in Science Education, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Journal of Learning Sciences, and Science Scope.

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