Dr. Rebecca Swanson
Post Doctoral Research Associate
200 Boston Avenue
Medford, MA 02155
Dr. Rebecca Swanson is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Center for Engineering Education
and Outreach (CEEO). She completed her graduate degrees at the University of Colorado at Boulder
in the School of Education, where Rebecca studied the boundary crossing activities of informal STEM
educators participating in an online professional learning community, in particular looking to
understand how these educators drew on their personal and professional areas of expertise while
developing their teaching practices. She has also worked on research projects studying learning
opportunities of citizen scientist volunteers in a large science and natural history museum,
pre-service teaching across elementary and out-of-school time learning environments, as well as
formative assessment practices of secondary science teachers in professional learning communities.
In the course of 20+ years in education, Rebecca has taught students in every grade, pre-K through
post-baccalaureate. She was the elementary science education instructor at CU Boulder for an academic year,
and prior to becoming an education researcher, was an elementary science educator for a small children's
science center in California, teaching in K-8 classrooms, in museum and after-school classes as well
as science summer camps, in addition to a brief period teaching secondary biology and general science courses.
Rebecca lives near Boulder, Colorado with her husband and two elementary-aged daughters,
and enjoys skiing and reading in her spare time.
PhD Curriculum and Instruction (Science Education), University of Colorado Boulder, 2018
Single Subject Teacher Credential Program, San Jose State University, 2000
BA Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, UC Santa Cruz, 1999
Rebecca works with Dr. Merredith Portsmore and Dr. Jessica Watkins on the Teacher Engineering Education Project (TEEP),
studying teacher noticing in student’s engineering in elementary classrooms. Rebecca also supports
the TEEP program as a TA for one of the courses.
- Swanson, R. D., Hinojosa, L., & Polman, J. L. (2018).
Learning scientific practices through participation as a volunteer community scientist. (poster)
In Kay, J. and Luckin, R. (Eds.). (2018).
Rethinking Learning in the Digital Age: Making the Learning Sciences Count, 13th
International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2018, Volume 1. London,
UK: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
- Hinojosa, L., Swanson, R. D., & Polman, J. L. (2018).
Community science identity: Becoming community scientists in a museum-based genetics of taste program.
In Kay, J. and Luckin, R. (Eds.). (2018). Rethinking Learning in the Digital Age:
Making the Learning Sciences Count, 13th International Conference of the Learning Sciences
(ICLS) 2018, Volume 1. London, UK: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
- Swanson, R. D. (2018).
Boundary Crossings Between Professional Communities: Designing Online
Collaborative Learning Opportunities for Informal Stem Educators
(Doctoral dissertation, University of Colorado at Boulder).
- Hinojosa, L., Swanson, R. D., & Polman, J. L. (2018, April).
Citizen science identity: Becoming citizen scientists in a museum-based genetics
of taste program. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational
Research Association, New York, NY.
- Swanson, R.D. (2018, March).
Professional Development for Informal STEM Educators:
Instructors as Boundary Crossers in a Community of Practice. Presented at
NARST Annual Conference 2018. Atlanta, GA.
- Hinojosa, L., Swanson, R. D., & Polman, J. L. (2018, March).
The identity development of citizen scientists in a museum-based genetics of taste program.
Paper presented at the NARST Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA.
- Furtak, E.M., Kiemer, K., Circi, R. K., Swanson, R.D., de León,
V., Morrison, D., & Heredia, S. C. (2016).
Teachers' formative assessment
abilities and their relationship to student learning: findings from a four-year
intervention study. Instructional Science,
- Polman, J. L., Hinojosa, L.,Swanson, R. D., McNamara, P., & Garneau, N. (2017, April).
Public Participation in Science Research on the Genetics of Taste at a Museum. Poster presented at the Annual
Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New York, NY.
- de León, V.A., Furtak, E.M., Morrison, D., Swanson, R., & Kiemer, K. (2016)
Learning Progressions as Tools for Classroom Practice. In Looi, C. K., Polman,
J. L., Cress, U., and Reimann, P. (Eds.). (2016). Transforming Learning,
Empowering Learners: The International Conference of the Learning Sciences
(ICLS) 2016, Volume 1. Singapore: International Society of the Learning
- Swanson, R.D., Furtak, E. M., & Buell, J. (2016, April).
Virtual Teacher Learning Community: Developing a Virtual Community of Practice with Google Tools.
Presented at the National Association for Research on Science Teaching National Conference 2016.
- Swanson, R.D. & Buell, J. (2015, August).
Developing a Virtual Teacher Learning Community with Google Tools.
Research presentation at the Colorado Learning and Teaching with Technology Conference, Boulder, CO.
- Furtak, E.M., Kiemer, K., Swanson, R., deLeon, V. & Circi, R. (2015, April).
Learning Progressions, Formative Assessment, and Professional
Development: Results of a Longitudinal Study.
Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association
of Research in Science Teaching, Chicago, IL.
- Furtak, E.M., Kiemer, K., Swanson, R. & deLeon, V. (2014).
Developing Teachers' Attention to Student Thinking Through Long-Term Professional Development:
Results of a Longitudinal Study. Paper presented at the European Association for Research in Learning and
Instruction SIG 11 Meeting, Frauenchiemsee, Germany.