Leema Berland

Professor, Department Chair

lberland@wisc.edu

(608) 263-2707

226-A Teacher Education Building

225 N. Mills Street

Madison, WI 53706

Berland, Leema

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Leema K. Berland (Ph.D. 2008, Learning Sciences, Northwestern University) is a professor of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Dr. Berland is broadly interested in facilitating and studying students as they engage in sensemaking practices (with a focus on K-12 students sensemaking about scientific phenomena, teacher candidates sensemaking about pedagogical phenomena, and educators making sense of their shared antiracist vision and goals). In this work, she uses sociocultural lenses to argue that engagement in sensemaking requires that learning activities be experienced by the learners as working towards a sensemaking goal, rather than as a set of disconnected procedures that satisfy an evaluative audience (i.e., a teacher, a principal, etc.). Thus, she focuses on understanding how learners interpret sensemaking opportunities, how those interpretations influence their participation in the sensemaking, and why they interpret it in the ways that they do. Within this, Dr. Berland has begun exploring the intersection between engagement in sensemaking, power dynamics, and relationships within the community. Through this most recent work, Dr. Berland is interested in how participants in a professional learning community—including researchers and k-12 educators—navigate their different positions, identities, and ideologies in order to build a shared (or not) goal, as they move towards developing a more antiracist school community.

Each of her research foci is designed to better understand the dynamics of how and why learners are able (or unable) to productively engage in sensemaking and have implications for the design of learning environments and classroom communities.

Education

  • PhD Learning Sciences, Northwestern University, 2008
  • BA Computer Science, Carleton College, 1999

Select Publications

  • Miller, E., Berland, L. K., & Campbell, T. D. (In Press). Equity for students requires equity for teachers: The inextricable link between treating teachers as professionals and equity-centered science learning environments. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 1-20. DOI.
  • Louie, N., Berland, L. K., Pacheco, M., Roeker, L., & Grant, C. (2022). Toward Radical Belonging: Envisioning Antiracist Learning Communities. Race, Ethnicity, and Education
  • Berland, L. K., Russ, R. S., & West, C. (2020). Supporting the Scientific Practices Through Epistemologically Responsive Teaching. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 31(3), 264-290.
  • Russ, R., & Berland, L. K. (2019). Invented Science. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 28(3), 279-301.
  • Miller, E., Manz, E., Russ, R., Stroupe, D., & Berland, L. K. (2018). Addressing the epistemic elephant in the room: Epistemic agency and the Next Generation Science Standards. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 55(7), 1053-1075. Online Publication/Abstract.
  • McNeill, K., & Berland, L. K. (2017). What is (or should be) scientific evidence use in K-12 classrooms?. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 54(5), 672-289.
  • Berland, L. K., Schwarz, C., Kenyon, L., Lo, A., Krist, C., & Reiser, B. (2016). Epistemologies in Practice: making scientific practices meaningful for students. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 53(7), 1082-1112.
  • Berland, L. K., & Crucet, K. C. (2015). Epistemological Tradeoffs: accounting for context when evaluating epistemological sophistication of student engagement in scientific practices. Science Education, 100(1), 5-29.
  • Hammer, D., & Berland, L. K. (2013). Confusing claims for data: A critique of common practices for presenting qualitative research on learning. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 23(1), 37-46.
  • Berland, L. K., & Hammer, D. (2012). Framing for scientific argumentation. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 49(1), 68-94.

Select Presentations

  • Louie, N., Berland, L. K., Coviello, A., & Pacheco, M. (2023, June). Navigating Emerging Divisions in a Coalition for an Antiracist School. presented at the Proceedings of the 17th Annual International Conference of the Learning Sciences, Montreal, Canada.
  • Louie, N., & Berland, L. K. (2022, June). Managing Deference, Leadership, Vision, and Voice: Dilemmas from Antiracist School-University Partnerships. presented at the Proceedings of the 16th Annual International Conference of the Learning Sciences, Hiroshima, Japan (online).
  • Berland, L. K., Louie, N., Pacheco, M., & Roeker, L. (2022, June). Racism with Antiracists: Examining Sensemaking in a School-University Partnership for Antiracism. presented at the Proceedings of the 16th Annual International Conference of the Learning Sciences, Hiroshima, Japan (online).
  • Miller, E., & Berland, L. K. (2020). In what contexts do teachers experience changing their science teaching as satisfying? presented at the Interdisciplinarity in the Learning Sciences: Proceedings of the 14th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2020), Nashville, TN: International Society of the Learning Sciences (online due to global pandemic).
  • Berland, L. K., Russ, R., & Feinstein, N. W. (2018). Curiosity Practice: A powerful new lever for fostering scientific engagement. In J. Kay and R. Luckin (Eds.), Rethinking learning in the digital age: making the Learning Sciences count. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 13th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2018), London, UK.
  • Berland, L. K., & McNeill, K. L. (2018). How can personal experiences be leveraged as “scientific evidence” in k-12 classrooms? Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 13th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2018), London, UK.
  • Russ, R., & Berland, L. K. (2018, March). Inquiry Science vs Invented Science. Paper presented at the National Association of Research in Science Teaching, Atlanta, GA.
  • Berland, L. K., Russ, R., & West, C. (2018, March). Pre-service teachers reframing pedagogy to support scientific sensemaking practices. Paper presented at the National Association of Research in Science Teaching, Atlanta, GA.
  • Berland, L. K. (2017, August). How context influences pre-service teachers attending and responding to student ideas. Paper presented at the 17th Biennial EARLI Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction, Tampere, Finland.
  • Russ, R., & Berland, L. K. (2017, April). How can students have epistemic agency when they have not identified what to learn? Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX.