Lauren Barth-Cohen

Curriculum Vitae

Lauren Barth-Cohen portrait
  • Assistant Professor, Educational Psychology


Research Statement

Dr. Barth-Cohen’s research focuses on student learning in science and she works to translate that research in ways that can be useful to K-12 teachers. She studies student learning of the often-difficult concepts in science that are foundational to the scientific enterprise and central to science education. In her research, she designs and implements learning environments aiming to scaffold such conceptual learning. She video tapes the instruction and then conducts qualitative video analysis on changes to learners conceptual understanding over time. Her approach to learning focuses on characterizing learners’ knowledge system over time, and she concentrate on contexts where they are engaged in a variety of knowledge building practices that are similar to the practices of professional science and central to reform based science education efforts (e.g. developing and using scientific modeling, analyzing and interpreting data, and engaging in argument from evidence). A recently project has focused on student learning about the physics of climate change in a conceptual modeling unit. Another project examines how learners come to generate scientific observations that can function as evidence in a field geology setting.  An additional line of research focuses on elementary school students’ learning of computational thinking skills in a humanoid robotics setting. A recent National Science Foundation funded grant (DUE-IUSE, #1712493) is aiming to build coherence in STEM learning opportunities (math and science content and methods classes at the University of Utah) to advance our understanding of how undergrad pre-service elementary teachers learn STEM content, instructional practices for teaching STEM, and principles and dispositions around equity and social justice. 

Research Keywords

  • climate change education, Interest Level: 4
  • Teacher Education, Interest Level: 5
  • Science Education, Interest Level: 5
  • STEM Education, Interest Level: 5
  • Preservice Teachers, Interest Level: 5
  • Precollegiate Education - Science or Mathematics, Interest Level: 5
  • Mathematics Education, Interest Level: 4
  • Cognition, Interest Level: 5

Grants, Contracts & Research Gifts

  • Building Coherence in STEM Learning Opportunities for Pre-Service Elementary Teachers across Disciplinary Boundaries. PI: Lauren Barth-Cohen. Co-PI(s): Aaron J Bertram, Jordan M Gerton. National Science Foundation, 08/01/2017 - present. Total project budget to date: $299,976.00