Core Faculty

Our courses are taught by faculty within the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education at Michigan State University. Our faculty bring a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, research experiences and traditions, and cultural and life experiences to their work.

Aman Yadav

Aman Yadav PhD Advisor

Email Web Ph.D., Michigan State University Aman Yadav is an associate professor of educational psychology and educational technology. He is interested in helping teachers to embed computational thinking practices and computing in the classroom. He is working to establish an evidence-based professional development program, including continuous online support, to improve teachers’ knowledge to teach computing concepts at the high school level. In addition, his research focuses on developing an understanding of problem-based learning (PBL) and case-based instruction (CBI) in STEM disciplines, with a specific focus on engineering education.

Cary Roseth

Cary J. Roseth PhD Advisor

Email Web Ph.D., University of Minnesota Cary Roseth is an associate professor of educational psychology. He is interested in social development, peer relations, and social contextual influences on classroom achievement. His research focuses on the development of conflict resolution in early childhood and on the effects of cooperation, competition, and individualistic goal structures on children’s academic achievement and peer relations.

Christine Greenhow

Christine Greenhow PhD Advisor

Email Web Ed.D., Harvard University Christine Greenhow is an assistant professor of educational psychology and educational technology. Her research focuses on learning in social media contexts such as online social networks, from learning sciences, learning technologies and new literacy studies perspectives, and with the goal of improving theory, practice and policy. Her work aims to increase our understanding of the intellectual and social practices occurring in online, popular culture-inspired environments, analyze how those practices align, contradict or herald strategies, skills and dispositions valued in formal education, and use these insights to design more engaging spaces for learning.


Cindy OkoloCynthia Okolo PhD Advisor

Email Web Ph.D., Indiana University Cynthia Okolo is a professor of special education. Her research focuses on improving academic outcomes for students with disabilities through the integration of technology into the classroom. She also studies how Universal Design for Learning (UDL)-aligned instructional practices can improve learning and behavior. Her current projects involve the development of literacy tools and strategies for using digital reading materials and teacher preparation for the implementation of UDL. Most of her work has been conducted in middle and high schools and in diverse classrooms that include students with and without disabilities. She is Past President and Professional Development Co-Chair of the Technology and Media Division of the Council for Exceptional Children.

Douglas Hartman

Douglas Hartman PhD Advisor

Email Web Ph.D., University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Douglas Hartman is a professor of literacy and technology with appointments in Teacher Education and Educational Psychology. He serves as co-director of the Literacy Achievement Research Center (LARC) and coordinator of the Literacy Studies program. His research interests focus on new literacies, adolescent literacy, and the history of literacy.

David Wong

E. David Wong PhD Advisor

Email Web Ph.D., Stanford University David Wong is an associate professor of educational psychology. He is interested in global education with a particular focus on how learning abroad experiences can foster student development. He is also interested in motivation, especially in what educators can learn from fields such as music, film, art, and architecture to create compelling experiences for their students. Finally, he has broad interests in the field of science education, urban education, the design of online instruction, and educational philosophy.

Emily Bouck

Emily Bouck PhD Advisor

Email Web Ph.D., Michigan State University Emily Bouck’s research focuses on improving outcomes of secondary students with high- incidence disabilities through advances in two strands of scholarship: standard academic curricula (i.e., mathematics) and functional curricula. Within these strands is a focus on how technology can support students with disabilities in accessing and achieving in both curricula, and translating success to post-school experiences.

Eunsoo Cho

Eunsoo Cho PhD Advisor

Email Web Ph.D., Vanderbilt University Eunsoo Cho’s research focuses on statistical modeling of reading development in students with or at-risk for having learning disabilities, including students from language minority backgrounds. Her research has two strands: First, she is interested in developing and validating assessment methods to accurately identify students with learning disabilities within a multitiered support system, such as response to intervention (RTI). Second, her research focuses on understanding psychological and motivational processes involved in learning. She intends to develop a motivation intervention that can be combined with reading instruction for students with persistent reading difficulties. One of her co-authored articles in Reading Research Quarterly received the 2015 Albert J. Harris Award from the International Literacy Association. In 2016, she received the Samuel Kirk Award for best research article from the Division of Learning Disabilities of the Council for Exceptional Children. She is also a faculty affiliate in the Educational Psychology program.

Evelyn Oka

Evelyn Oka PhD Advisor

Email Web Ph.D., University of Michigan Evelyn Oka is an associate professor of school psychology and serves as director of the school psychology program. Her research interests include the development of self-regulated learning during childhood and early adolescence, particularly among students with learning problems. With teachers in a professional development school, she is studying the learning and motivation of general and special education students in an inclusion classroom.

Lisa Linnenbrink-Garcia

Lisa Linnenbrink-Garcia PhD Advisor

Email Web Ph.D., University of Michigan Lisa Linnenbrink-Garcia is a professor in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education (CEPSE). Linnenbrink-Garcia’s research focuses on the development of achievement motivation in school settings and the interplay among motivation, emotions and learning, especially in science and mathematics.


Jennifer Schmidt

Jennifer A. Schmidt PhD Advisor

Email Web Ph.D., University of Chicago Jennifer A. Schmidt is an associate professor of educational psychology. She is broadly interested in adolescent motivation and engagement in learning contexts, both inside and outside of school. She studies how multiple dimensions of student experience fluctuate with the changing features of learning environments, particularly in the contexts of STEM learning.

Jack Smith

John (Jack) P. Smith III PhD Advisor

Email Web Videos Ph.D., University of California-Berkeley John (Jack) P. Smith is a professor of educational psychology. His research concerns the nature of people’s learning of mathematics in school and other settings. His interests include the relation of epistemology to learning, the role of intuitive understanding in learning mathematics and science, the design of advanced technology for learning mathematics, and the nature of teaching mathematics.

John bell

John Bell PhD Advisor

Email Web  University of California, Berkeley John Bell is director of the CEPSE/COE Design Studio and co-coordinator of the Hybrid Educational Psychology and Educational Technology PhD program. Prior to this work, he served as course designer and director of instructor development for the Educational Technology Certificate Program for many years. He has been involved in a variety of teaching and service work internationally. His current research interest is focused on idea-based teaching and learning using technology.

Joseph Krajcik

Joseph Krajcik PhD Advisor

Email Web Ph.D., University of Iowa Joseph Krajcik is Lappan-Phillips Professor of Science Education and director of the CREATE for STEM Institute. A former high school chemistry and physical science teacher, Krajcik spent 21 years at the University of Michigan before coming to MSU in 2011. During his career, he has focused on working with science teachers to reform science teaching practices to promote students’ engagement in and learning of science. He was principal investigator on a National Science Foundation project that aims to design, develop and test the next generation of middle school curriculum materials to engage students in obtaining deep understandings of science content and practices. He served as head of the Physical Science Design Team to develop the Next Generation Science Standards. Krajcik, along with Professor Angela Calabrese Barton from MSU, served as co-editor of the Journal of Research in Science Teaching. Krajcik has authored and co-authored curriculum materials, books, software and over 100 manuscripts, and makes frequent presentations at international, national and regional conferences. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has served as president of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST), from which he received the Distinguished Contributions to Science Education Through Research Award in 2010.

Matthew Koehler

Matthew Koehler PhD Advisor

Email Web Ph.D., University of Wisconsin Matthew J. Koehler is a professor of Educational Psychology and Educational Technology at the College of Education at Michigan State University. His work explores the pedagogical affordances (and constraints) of newer technologies for learning, the development and refinement of the Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework, and digital research methods for studying educational processes in social media and digital spaces. You can learn more about his work at

Rabindra Ratan

Rabindra (“Robby”) Ratan

Email Web Ph.D., University of Southern California Rabindra Ratan is an assistant professor of media psychology and social media use. He is interested in the effects of avatar characteristics and mediated social interaction on learning in video games.

Ralph Putnam

Ralph Putnam PhD Advisor

Email Web Ph.D., Stanford University Ralph Putnam is an associate professor of educational psychology whose research focuses on the cognitively oriented study of classroom teaching and learning and role of technology in learning. His recent research examines the teaching and learning of mathematics in elementary school classrooms, especially the knowledge and beliefs of mathematics teachers, and the different ways that students learn about mathematics from various kinds of instruction.

Rand Spiro

Rand J. Spiro PhD Advisor

Email Web Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University Rand Spiro is a professor of educational psychology and educational technology. His research concerns new modes of learning with technology to promote what are often called “21st century skills”, especially the ability to deal with novelty in an increasingly complex and rapidly changing world. Spiro’s theory, applied in his research, is “Cognitive Flexibility Theory,” which provides a highly specified approach to the use of technology for the development of the ability to respond adaptively to new, real-world situations (instead of relying on pre-stored templates in memory). His research areas include deep and open learning on the Web, instructional hypermedia systems to promote the attainment of high proficiency learning goals, knowledge acquisition in complex subject areas, new literacies and new forms of reading comprehension in the online world, case-based learning with technology for independent knowledge application in non-routine situations in the professions (e.g., teaching; medicine), expertise and acceleration in the development of expertise, assessment of 21st century skills, and learning in areas of grand social challenge (e.g., climate change).

Richard Prawat

Richard Prawat

Email Web Ph.D., Michigan State University Richard Prawat is chairperson of the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education and a professor of educational psychology and teacher education. His research interests include teaching and learning for understanding and motivational processes in education. He has written extensively on issues relating to constructivist approaches to teaching.

Robert Floden

Robert E. Floden PhD Advisor

Email Web Ph.D., Stanford University Robert Floden is a University Distinguished Professor of teacher education, measurement and quantitative methods, educational psychology, and educational policy. He is associate dean for research, director of the Institute for Research on Teaching and Learning and co-director of Teachers for a New Era (TNE). He has studied teacher education and other influences on teaching and learning, including work on the cultures of teaching, on teacher development, on effects of teacher education, and on how policy is linked to classroom practice.

Yi-Ling Cheng

Yi-Ling Cheng PhD Advisor

Email Web Ph.D., Michigan State University Yi-Ling Cheng is an assistant professor (fixed term) of Educational Psychology. She received a dual major PhD in both the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology program and in the Measurement, Quantitative Methods program, with a cognitive science specialization from Michigan State University. Her research interests focus on the diagnostic testing and training of children’s cognitive abilities from the perspective of item response theory approach (IRT), and specifically on the way that it informs the relationship between spatial abilities and mathematical achievements.