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Kelley L Durkin

Research Assistant Professor, Department of Teaching and Learning

Kelley Durkin is a Research Associate at the Peabody Research Institute.  Durkin received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at Vanderbilt University under Bethany Rittle-Johnson.  Durkin then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in mathematics education under Jon Star at Harvard University where she worked to help evaluate a supplemental algebra curriculum focused on encouraging comparison in the classroom.  Durkin also served as a postdoctoral associate under Patrick Shafto at the University of Louisville and Rutgers University-Newark where she studied how reasoning about others’ knowledge and intentions could influence learning and the entrenchment of misconceptions.  Throughout these projects, Durkin has used multi-level models, instrumental variables estimation, meta-analytic techniques, and coding of student explanations and classroom videos to answer her research questions.

Overall, Durkin’s research focuses on evaluating educational programs and investigating how ideas from cognitive and developmental psychology can be applied in educational settings to improve learning.  Her recent research appears in Child Development and Learning and Instruction, and has been presented at multiple domestic and international conferences. 

At PRI, Durkin is involved in three projects:  1) a project evaluating the long-term effects of the Tennessee Voluntary Pre-K program, 2) a project evaluating the expansion of VPK programs in Metro Nashville Public Schools and Shelby County school districts, and 3) a project investigating middle grades mathematics achievement and cognitive abilities in an urban, low-income sample who participated in an earlier study of math skills.