UIC learning scientist honored by international research society

Susan Goldman

Susan Goldman, co-director of the UIC Learning Sciences Research Institute and distinguished professor of liberal arts and sciences, psychology, and education. Photo: Jenny Fontaine

University of Illinois at Chicago learning scientist Susan Goldman has been selected to receive the Society for Text and Discourse’s 2017 Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award.

Goldman, co-director of the UIC Learning Sciences Research Institute and distinguished professor of liberal arts and sciences, psychology, and education, will be honored during the society’s annual meeting this summer in Philadelphia, at which she will also deliver a keynote lecture.

The award, the international organization’s most prestigious distinction, honors scholars for “outstanding research that has enhanced the scientific understanding of discourse processing and text analysis; contributions to the mentorship of students, postdoctoral fellows, and colleagues in the field of text and discourse;” and “meritorious contributions to the advancement of the field through leadership as a theorist or spokesperson for the discipline.”

Described by the society as a “key and highly influential figure in the field,” Goldman focuses on helping educators and education researchers understand the learning process, and the creation of curriculum, teaching and technological innovations that foster improved learning for children and adults.

From algebra to literacy, her research aims to build high-quality strategies that prepare students to meet challenges in college, the workplace, and life. Much of her work also centers on creating professional development resources for teachers.

As a research and development partner in a $10 million math literacy project funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Goldman co-led a team of UIC experts that collaborated on the redesign and testing of the Connected Mathematics Project, a widely used middle school mathematics curriculum.

With a $19.2 million Department of Education grant, she led a multi-institutional research team that studied reading for understanding among students in middle school and high school. The project connected more than 30 years of her research on subject matter learning, instruction, assessment and roles for technology.

In 2001, Goldman and her husband, James Pellegrino, also a distinguished professor of psychology and education and LAS distinguished professor, came from Vanderbilt University to UIC to establish an interdisciplinary center that has evolved to become the Learning Sciences Research Institute.

Goldman is a member of the National Academy of Education and a fellow of the American Educational Research Association.