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Ala Samarapungavan

Professor
Head of the Department of Educational Studies

Research

My research focuses on reasoning and learning in science and mathematics from childhood through adulthood. I am interested in developmental, cultural, and epistemic aspects of knowledge acquisition in the sciences. I collaborate with public schools in Indiana to help elementary, middle, and high school teachers infuse inquiry into science instruction and to document student learning. I collaborate with researchers in other fields on a variety of projects that examine the features of advanced science learning at the college level and beyond. I am also interested in informal science learning of the kind that occurs from museum field trips and 4-H projects.

Education

Ph.D. University of Illinois Champaign, Educational Psychology
M.S. Delhi University, Clinical Psychology
B.S. Bombay University, Psychology


Selected Publications

  • Samarapungavan, A., Mantzicopoulos, P., Patrick, H., * French B. (2009). The development and validation of the Science Learning Assessment (SLA): A measure of kindergarten science learning. Advanced Academics, 20(3), 502-535.

  • Chinn, C. A., & Samarapungavan, A. (2009). Conceptual Change-Multiple Routes, Multiple Mechanisms: A Commentary on Ohlsson. Educational Psychologist, 44(1), 1-10.

  • Samarapungavan, A., Mantzicopoulos, P., & Patrick, H. (2008). Learning Science Through Inquiry in Kindergarten. Science Education, 92(5), 868 - 908.

  • Samarapungavan, A., Westby, E. L. & Bodner, G. M. (2006). Contextual Epistemic Development in Science: A Comparison of Chemistry Students and Research Chemists. Science Education, 90 (3), 468-495.

  • Samarapungavan, A., Westby, E. L., & Bodner, G. M. (2006). Contextual Epistemic Development in Science: A Comparison of Chemistry Students and Research Chemists. Science Education, 1-28. Published online in Wiley Interscience www.wileyinterscience.com

  • Nakhleh, M., Samarapungavan, A., & Saglam, Y. (2005). Middle school students' beliefs about matter. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 42 (5), 581-612.

Experience

2010-present             
Head, Department of Educational Studies, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
2008-present Professor in Educational Psychology,
Department of Educational Studies, Purdue University
1999-2007 Associate Professor in Educational Psychology, Department of Educational Studies, Purdue University
1995-1998 Assistant Professor in Educational Psychology, Department of Educational Studies, Purdue University

Courses

EDPS 235 Learning and Motivation
EDPS 510 Culture & Cognition
EDPS 530 Learning Educational Psychology
EDPS 533 Introduction to Research 1: Methodology
EDPS 591P Developing Minds: Issues for Teaching and Learning