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Alan H. Schoenfeld

Professor *
Ph.D. in Mathematics, 1973, Stanford University
M.S. in Mathematics, 1969, Stanford University
B.A. in Mathematics, 1968, Queens College, New York

Alan Schoenfeld holds the Elizabeth and Edward Conner Chair in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley, and is an affiliated professor in the Mathematics Department. Schoenfeld served as president of the American Educational Research Association in 1988-89, and is an AERA Fellow. He is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Laureate of the education honor society Kappa Delta Pi. Alan is a member of the National Academy of Education, where he served as vice president from 2000-2006. In 2011 he was awarded the International Commission on Mathematics Instruction’s Klein Medal, the highest international distinction in mathematics education. In 2013 he was awarded AERA's Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education award. "This is the premier acknowledgment of outstanding achievement and success in education research. It is designed to publicize, motivate, encourage, and suggest models for education research at its best." 

Schoenfeld's research deals with thinking, teaching, and learning. His book, Mathematical Problem Solving, characterizes what it means to think mathematically and describes a research-based undergraduate course in mathematical problem solving. Schoenfeld led the Balanced Assessment project and was one of the leaders of the NSF-sponsored center for Diversity in Mathematics Education (DiME). The DiME Center was awarded the 2013 AERA Division G Henry T. Trueba Award for Research Leading to the Transformation of the Social Contexts of Education. 

Schoenfeld was lead author for grades 9-12 of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics' Principles and Standards for School Mathematics. He was one of the founding editors of Research in Collegiate Mathematics Education, and has served as associate editor of Cognition and Instruction. He has served as senior advisor to the Educational Human Resources Directorate of the National Science Foundation, and senior content advisor to the U.S. Department of Education's What Works Clearinghouse. He was one of the lead authors for the mathematics content specifications for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.

Schoenfeld has written, edited, or co-edited twenty-two books and approximately two hundred articles on thinking and learning. He has an ongoing interest in the development of productive mechanisms for systemic change and for deepening the connections between educational research and practice. His most recent book, How we Think, provides detailed models of human decision making in complex situations such as teaching, and his current research focuses on the attributes of classrooms that produce students who are powerful thinkers.  Schoenfeld's current projects (the Algebra Teaching Study, funded by NSF; the Mathematics Assessment Project (MAP) and Formative assessment with Computational Technologies (FACT), funded by the Gates Foundation; and work with the San Francisco and Oakland Unified School Districts under the auspices of the National Research Council's SERP project) all focus on understanding and enhancing mathematics teaching and learning.

Teachers try to help their students learn. But why do they make the particular teaching choices they do? What resources do they draw upon? What accounts for the success or failure of their efforts? In How We Think, Alan Schoenfeld proposes a groundbreaking theory and model for how we think and act in the classroom and beyond. Read more …Alan Schoenfeld and long-time collaborator and friend Günter Törner have worked for decades to improve mathematics education. In this volume, scholars from around the globe reflect on how the work of Schoenfeld and Törner has inspired and shaped their own research. Read more …


Contact Info
4653 Tolman Hall
(510) 642-0968
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Problem solving, metacognition, mathematical cognition