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Faculty members

Goldman, Shelley

Shelley Goldman
Shelley Goldman
Academic Title 
Professor (Teaching)
Other Titles 

Professor (Teaching) of Mechanical Engineering (by courtesy)

Contact Information
(650) 723-8422
CU 223
Program Affiliations 
SHIPS (PhD): Anthropology of Education
Anthropology and Education
Curriculum and Instruction
Educational Equity
Elementary Education
Family Issues
Learning Design
Mathematics Education
Parental Involvement
Problem-based Learning
Qualitative Research Methods
Technology in Teaching and Learning

Use and integration of digital technologies for teaching and learning; learning in informal settings, especially learning mathematics within families; bringing the tools and mindsets of design thinking to K-12 classrooms.

Dr. Goldman is an educational anthropologist interested in the idea that learning takes place when students are actively engaged with each other, their teachers, and others in conversations, activities and content. She is very interested in the power of real-world contexts to drive learning, and researches how people learn in and out of school. She currently studies how families engage with mathematics in the course of everyday problem-solving. Her quest to give people the tools they need to collaborate and accomplish learning has led her to study and design computer technologies. She is interested in understanding how design thinking can become a powerful and effective pedagogy in K-12 classrooms.

"Ultimately, respecting, researching, and building from family math practices could reduce the exclusivity of the school as the only legitimate math setting, decrease the sense of alienation that both teachers and families feel from each other, and generally increase everyone's access to additional math materials, practices and learning environments."

- from "Factoring Families into the School Math Success Equation" (with Angela Booker)

  • EdD (Family and Community Education), Columbia University, 1982;
  • MEd (Family and Community Education), Columbia University, 1979;
  • MS (Urban School Administration and Supervision), Florida International University, 1978;
  • BS (Elementary Education and Educational Psychology), State University of New York at Oneonta, 1972.

Since 1994:

Consulting Associate Professor (1994-2000);

Associate Professor, Teaching (2001-2006);

Professor, Teaching (2006-).

Elementary and Middle School Teacher (1973-1978);

Director, Public Schools Project, College for Human Services, New York (1983-1985);

Research Scientist, Center for Children and Technology, Bank Street College of Education, New York (1985-1989);

Director of School and Community Programs and Senior Research Scientist, Institute for Research on Learning, Menlo Park, CA (1989-2000).

  • Introduction to Qualitative Research
  • Design of Technology for Casual Learning
  • Collaborative Design and Research of Technology-Integrated Curriculum
  • Mentoring Young STEM Thinkers
  • Imagining the future of Learning (ED 333B)

Current Syllabus:

Goldman, S., Carroll, M., Kabayadondo, Z., Britos Cavanaro, L., Royalty, A., Roth, B., Kwek, S.H., & Kim, J. (In press). Assessing d.learning: Capturing the Journey of Becoming a Design Thinker, In Meinel, Leifer, L & Plattner, H. (Eds). Directions in Design Thinking Research. Springer.

Goldman, S., Pea, R., Blair, K.P., Jimenez, O., Booker, A., Martin, L., & Esmonde, I. (2010). Math Engaged Problem Solving in Families, In Gomez, K., Lyons, L., & Radinsky, J. (Eds.) Learning in the Disciplines: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2010) - Volume 1, Full Papers. International Society of the Learning Sciences: Chicago IL. 380-388.

Carroll, M., Goldman, S., Britos, L., Royalty, A., Koh, J., & Hornstein, M. (2010). Destination, Imagination & The Fires Within, with M. Carroll, International Journal of Art & Design Education. 21:1, 37-, IL53.

Martin, L. & Goldman, S. (2010). Family inheritance: parallel practices of financial responsibility in families, In Lin, L., Varenne, H. and Gordon, E. (Eds.), Educating Comprehensively: varieties of educational experiences, Vol. 3 of the Perspectives on Comprehensive Education Series. The Edwin Mellon Press.

Martin, L., Goldman, S., & Jimenez, O. (2009). The Tanda: A Practice at the Intersection of Mathematics, Culture, and Financial Goals, with L. Martin & O. Jimenez. Mind, Culture and Activity 16: 1-14.

Goldman, S. & Booker, A. (2009). Making Math a Definition of the Situation: Families as Sites for Mathematical Practices, Anthropology & Education Quarterly. 40:3.

Di Giano, C., Goldman, S. & Chorost, M. (Eds.), (2009). “Educating New Learning Technology Designers.” New York: Routledge.

Goldman, S., Booker, A. & McDermott, M. (2007). "Mixing the Digital, Social and Cultural: learning, identity and agency in youth participation." In Buckingham, D. (Ed.), Digital Youth: Learning and Identity. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Goldman, S. & McDermott, R. (2007). “Staying the Course with Video Analysis.” In Goldman, R., Pea, R., Barron, B. and Derry, S. (Eds.), Video Research in the Learning Sciences. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Goldman, S. (2006). “A New Angle on Families: Connecting the Mathematics in Daily Life with School Mathematics.” In Bekerman, Z., Burbules, N., Silberman-Keller, D. (Eds.), Learning in Places: The Informal Education Reader. Bern: Peter Lang.

McDermott, R., Goldman, S. & Varenne, H. (2006). “The Cultural Work of Learning Disabilities.” Educational researcher. 35(6): 12-17.

Goldman, S., Pea, R. & Maldanado, H. (2004). "Emerging Social Engineering in the Wireless Classroom." Proceedings of the International Conference of the Learning Sciences.

Goldman, S., Knudsen, J. and the Middle School Mathematics through Applications Project. (2002). “Middle School Mathematics: What Every Parent Should Know and Can Do.” Stanford University.

Goldman, S. (2002). “Instructional Design: Learning through Design.” In J. Guthrie, (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Education. Second Edition. New York: Macmillan Reference USA. 1163-1169.

Greeno, J. & Goldman, S. (Eds.), (1998). “Thinking Practices in Mathematics and Science Learning.” Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

LIFE Center: Family Math: understanding mathematical problem-solving contexts and practices.

Research and Design on the potential of hand-held and mobile technologies.

REDlab: research in education and design <>