Xinyu (Celia) Wei

Xinyu (Celia) Wei is a first-year student in the Learning Sciences and Human Development program at the Graduate School of Education at UC Berkeley. As an international scholar from China, Xinyu desires to help students celebrate productive struggles, leverage everyday experiences, and develop intellectual and sociocritical thinking skills to tackle worldwide equity barriers within STEM education. Her mission guides her as an emergent researcher who works with classroom teachers and students to design and implement meaningful and culturally grounded mathematics and science curriculum at the K-8 school levels.

Before moving to the U.S. Bay Area, Xinyu double-majored in English and Education at Southwest University in Chongqing, where she secured three patents as an award-winning science learning product designer. In April 2018, she was funded by the Ministry of Education of China through the National College Students’ Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training Program to place her learning kits in various preschools for ten months. Xinyu’s first time being a principal investigator helped cultivate a professional commitment and research tenacity that boosted her dream of becoming an educator committed to fostering student agency, ownership, and identity in the STEM classroom.

After studying at Cal as an exchange undergraduate for two years, Xinyu became a Master’s student at our GSE in August 2021. In mathematics education, Xinyu is an active member of the Functions research group and a Graduate Student Researcher working with Prof. Alan Schoenfeld on his Teaching for Robust Understanding (TRU) framework. Meanwhile, Xinyu’s own research examines the affordances of task-based interviews to mathematize students’ in-and-out-of-school experiences during formative assessments. Her pilot study conducted with third graders has been accepted by the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education to present at YERME Summer School (YESS-12) in Linz, Austria.

In data science education, Xinyu is also appointed as a Graduate Student Researcher working with Prof. Michelle Wilkerson on Writing Data Stories, an NSF-funded project designed to foster students’ scientific data literacy through investigating, reorganizing, and reasoning the public-opening datasets on the Common Online Data Analysis Platform (CODAP). Moreover, Xinyu is a facilitator of Storytelling with Data Online Science Discovery Workshops in partnership with the Lawrence Hall of Science. She will be presenting research at the 2022 American Educational Research Association(AERA) Annual Conference and the 2022 International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS). Xinyu is passionate about making science education more accessible for students from socioeconomically minoritized communities by positioning their everyday practices and interests as grounds for expansive learning.

In these two years, Xinyu has been enjoying her time volunteering at Berkeley Unified School District, where she helps young students interpret the real-world meaning of knowledge as much as mathematicians and scientists do. In addition to STEM education, she also has language teaching experience at private daycares and Mandarin immersion schools.

Specializations and Interests

Learning Sciences, Mathematics and Science Education, Classroom Teaching and Learning

portrait image of master's student Xinyu Celia Wei


BA, English and Education, Southwest University in Chongqing, China