Schunn, Christian

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Name, affiliation and email address

Christian D. Schunn

Learning Research and Development Center
University of Pittsburgh

Bio sketch


  • BSc in Psychology/Computer Science/Math from McGill University (1990)
  • PhD in Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University (1995)

Current positions:

Field of interest

My current research focuses on understanding complex forms of expertise, building models of authentic practice in science and engineering, and applying those models to improve K-20 science education.
I co-direct two educational reform projects:

  • a set of design-based learning replacement units for high school biology, chemistry, and physics
  • a web-based peer-review of writing tool called SWoRD ( that is used in a wide number of undergraduate and post-graduate course settings.

I also collaborate on two other educational design + research projects:

  • a lego robotics curriculum and its role in teaching mathematics (especially algebra
  • an online curriculum for teaching sentential and predicate logic

Chosen topic group (but also interested in)

Chosen topic group: Curriculum

Also interested in:

  • Professional development

Planned contribution to ISDDE 2008

Project-based learning with projects that extend over multiple months allows for work that is not only grounded in applications to the world around the student, but allows for authentic scientific or engineering practice. However, there is a significant tension between maintaining a feel of student control over the project details and the learning goals of the curriculum. I would like to discuss various strategies for resolving this tension in secondary math and science instruction.

Expectations for this conference



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