People / Wendi Laurence

Wendi Laurence

Summer of Innovation
Penn State


Posed studio photograph of Wendi Laurence

Dr. Wendi Laurence has taught from pre-school to graduate school and across the curriculum in urban, rural, suburban schools and informal settings with expertise in aesthetic, inquiry and experiential learning and teaching methods.  Her career is dedicated to the belief that we can find innovative, interdisciplinary solutions to the problems of our day by supporting teachers and nurturing the potential of children. A major area of focus in her doctoral work was the assessment of STEM learning and developing teaching that nurtures a love of the questions and bridges conceptual misunderstandings. Her current work focuses on how we can support teachers in the process of teaching innovation, community partnerships and the design of online support systems. Wendi’s post-doctoral work was part of a NSF grant that examined how we can support secondary teachers as they change their practice through participation in supported collaborative inquiry and professional learning communities. She has also authored several curricula in the areas of science, art and advanced placement history. Dr. Laurence’s other research and publications include: determining the critical junctures teachers’ encounter as they implement technology enhanced scientific inquiry and the supports needed to sustain change in their practice; the development of a model, reVisioning, to mentor teachers through career decisions and; engaging math avoidant college students. She has also written a Policy Brief on teacher recruitment and retention for Policy Analysis for California Education at Berkeley. She has taught as an adjunct Assistant Professor at Portland State University in the Graduate School of Education since 2003. In 2007, she was recognized for her work and presented with the Portland State’s President’s Award for Outstanding Community Engagement. Wendi is currently a member of the 2013 NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program (NITARP) at Caltech and is delighted to be learning how to conduct astronomical research.