My scholarly and professional focus is centered on research-practice partnerships and understanding how to improve the way these partnerships are established and maintained. I focus on these partnerships' processes to understand how critical perspectives are taken up. My work extends the question of "who is at the table" to also include an examination of how people are participating when they are at the table.
I began my career working at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, an education nonprofit that is currently focused on advancing networked improvement communities in education. There, I was trained in using improvement science, an approach for enacting continuous improvement in systems. I applied this approach as part of my work supporting the Carnegie Math Pathways, an initiative aimed at increasing the success rates of community college students in developmental math courses. Using the tools and methods of improvement science, I led the design of the Carnegie Math Pathways Faculty Support Program, which aimed at supporting instructors new to teaching the Pathways. I co-authored a paper on this work in a special issue of the Journal of Teacher Education.
From there, I began my doctoral work at the UC Irvine School of Education. I first began my doctoral studies by focusing on preservice teachers' conceptualizations of equity and social justice, leading to a paper that has been accepted for publication in Teacher Education Quarterly which is currently being copyedited.
In my second year, I began to lead the launching a networked improvement community across the University of California system's teacher preparation programs. This NIC comprises of eight campuses and nearly 75 teacher educators have been involved in this network. My dissertation focuses on unveiling and examining the processes of initiating and managing this network, as a way to make visible the enactment of NICs and research-practice partnerships more broadly. Questions I pursue center on understanding how participants converge on a shared network aim, how the improvement measurement system is designed, and how people participate in cycles of testing.
Underlying all these questions is a focus on issues of equity and social justice, particularly how critical perspectives get lived (or not) in the work of doing improvement. I seek to view the connection between improvement and equity in two ways: 1) improvement for equity, where improvement outcomes are centered at addressing an equity issue that disproportionately affects people of color and others who are subject to systems of oppression; and 2) equitable improvement, which centers on the process of how improvement gets carried out among facilitators and participants. I draw on my experiences in doing improvement work for 7 years, and on colleagues and friends also engaged in the work of doing improvement. My work is also informed by scholarly theoretical perspectives, primarily social practice theory, cultural-historical activity theory, situated learning theory, and critical race theory.