Rossella Santagata

picture of Rossella  Santagata

Professor of Education

Founding Faculty and Director, Education Center for Research on Teacher Development and Professional Practice

School of Education Global Engagement Liasion

Ph.D., UCLA, 2002, Developmental Psychology

Phone: (949) 824-0434

University of California, Irvine
3457 Education
Mail Code: 5500
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Teacher Preparation and Professional Development; Teaching and Learning in STEM Fields; Video Technologies; Teaching and Learning as Cultural Practices; Research-Practice Partnerships; Equity and Education
Academic Distinctions
Visiting Scholar, Institute of Advanced Studies, Alma Mater Studiorum, Bologna, Italy (January 2019)

Visiting Professor, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany (2018-19)

Visiting Scientist, Education Sciences Department, Università di Cagliari, Italy (June - August 2016)

Visiting Professor, UNESCO Initiative 'Preparing Teachers for the 21st Century,' Institut Français de l'Éducation, École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France (March 2015)
Research Abstract
Professor Santagata is an educational researcher, studying math and science teaching and learning in and out of school. She is a leading scholar in the use of video technologies to study learning interactions and to foster teacher professional competence. She works in partnership with schools and local non-profit educational agencies to solve persistent problems of practice, particularly those affecting educational settings that serve marginalized youth.

Professor Santagata's main research interests are in two areas: (1) Teacher learning and professional development, with a focus on the use of video to foster teacher professional growth; and (2) Teaching and learning in STEM, with a focus on the development of students' conceptual understanding and on video technologies as a tool to study learning interactions;

Her investigations employ a variety of methodologies, depending on a particular project's research goals and questions. These include design-based research; pre- and post-test comparisons; experimental and quasi-experimental studies; and research-practice partnerships.

Professor Santagata is currently partnering with the UCI Center for Environmental Biology, the Crystal Cove Alliance, and local schools on a Citizen Science project entitled '“Where Does the Water Go?.” Fifth-grade students, predominantly from under-served backgrounds, are engaged in research on land restoration and in experiences that bridge formal and informal learning settings.

She is also completing analyses of longitudinal data on teacher preparation collected in the context of her NSF Career project "Learning to Learn from Mathematics Teaching" and she is involved in several international projects on the use of video for teacher professional growth.

Professor Santagata is highly committed to issues of equity, diversity, and inclusiveness. This commitment is evident in her research, teaching, and service. She directed the UC-HBCU Summer Education Research Internship Program funded by the UC Office of the President (UCOP); she served as the Equity Advisor for the School of Education through the UCI ADVANCE program; and was a member of the Faculty Engagement Council for the UCOP Diversity and Engagement Division. In 2020, she received the Faculty Mentorship Award for Inclusive Excellence. Currently she serves as the DECADE (Diverse Educational Community and Doctoral Experience) Faculty Mentor.

To learn more about her research please visit: Dr. Santagata's Website
Awards and Honors
Faculty Mentorship Award for Inclusive Excellence (2020)

UCI School of Education Dean’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education (2017)

NSF Career Award: Learning to Learn from Mathematics Teaching (2010 - 2015)
Short Biography
Professor Santagata began her scholarly career in her home country, Italy, where she studied Developmental and Educational Psychology at the University of Padova. In 1993, she completed an award-winning thesis on reading comprehension difficulties under the guidance of Prof. Cesare Cornoldi. After specializing in Learning Disabilities, she worked as a child psychologist at the Neurological Institute in Milan where she had conducted fieldwork to obtain her license as developmental psychologist. In 1994, she won an Education Abroad fellowship to study for a year at UCLA. In 1997, she began her doctoral program at UCLA, earning a PhD in Developmental Psychology in 2002. Her dissertation project examined mathematics teaching cross-culturally in Italy and the United States. Her project drew from the Third International Mathematics and Science Video Study directed by James W. Stigler, her dissertation chair. Before joining UC Irvine in 2006, Dr. Santagata directed the LessonLab Research Institute in Santa Monica, California and worked closely with Stigler and Gallimore on video-based studies of teacher professional development.
CAREER: Learning to Learn from Mathematics Teaching (National Science Foundation, 2010-2016)
Mistakes as Tools for Learning in US Mathematics Teaching (Spencer Foundation, 2009-2011)
Using Video Clips of Classroom Instruction as Item Prompts to Measure Teacher Knowledge of Teaching Mathematics: Instrument Development and Validation (“Capturing Teacher Knowledge”) (Institute of Education Sciences, 2006-2010).
Building Analysis of Practice into Pre-Service Teacher Education: Making Use of New Technologies to Study Science Teaching (Video for Science Teaching Analysis: “ViSTA”)(National Science Foundation, 2004 - 2009).
Improving Achievement by Maintaining the Learning Potential of Rich Mathematics Problems: An Experimental Study of a Video- and Internet-Based Professional Development Program (“Algebra Learning For All”)(Institute of Education Sciences, 2003 - 2008).
“Where Does the Water Go?” Developing Life-Long Science Learners through a University-State Park Partnership. Nicholas Endowment (2016)
“Where Does the Water Go?” Scaling up and Building Sustainability to Bring Authentic Science Learning Experiences to Underserved Learners. Nicholas Endowment (2017)
School-wide Improvement Efforts for Better Math Learning (SWIM): a Research-Practice Partnership. UCI OCEAN Initiative (2019 - present)
Transfer to Teaching: Accelerated STEM Teacher Preparation from Community College to Credentialing. National Science Foundation, Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program (2020-2025)
Reimagining Educational Equity and Opportunity (REEO) during the COVID 19 Pandemic, UCI Office of Inclusive Excellence (2020 - 2021).
Research Center
Education Center for Research on Teacher Development and Professional Practice
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