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Dr. Gale Sinatra is the Stephen H. Crocker Professor of Psychology and Education at Rossier. She is currently serving as the President of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Division 15 (Educational Psychology). She serves as Associate Editor of the APA journal, Psychological Bulletin. She is a Fellow of APA, American Educational Research Association (AERA), and the Society for Text and Discourse. Her areas of expertise include climate science education, evolution education, STEM learning, conceptual change learning, and the public understanding of science.

Sinatra’s current research focuses on understanding the cognitive and motivational processes that lead to successful STEM learning. Specifically, Sinatra explores the role of motivation and emotion in teaching and learning about controversial topics such as climate change and biological evolution. Her model of conceptual change learning describes how motivational factors contribute to the likelihood that individuals will change their thinking about a scientific topic. Her work has been cited thousands of times by scholars in psychology, education, and science teaching and learning. 

Sinatra currently serves as Co-PI on a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, Re-Living Paleontology: Studying How Augmented Reality Immersion and Interaction Impact Engagement and Communicating Science. In collaboration with her partners at USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) and the Natural History Museum, the project team is building an AR exhibit at La Brea Tar Pitts and Museum to support visitor’s engagement with science. She is also currently working on a co-authored volume on public understanding of science with her collaborator, Dr. Barbara Hofer of Middlebury College, VT to be published by Oxford University Press in 2020.

Sinatra’s previous appointments were as Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) where she served on the faculty from 2000-2010 and as Interim Dean of the UNLV Graduate College; and prior to that, she was an Associate Professor of Education at the University of Utah. Sinatra received her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has previously served as Editor of the APA Division 15 journal, Educational Psychologist and Vice President of AERA’s Division C, Learning and Instruction. 

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