Dr. Penuel's research focuses on teacher learning and organizational processes that shape the implementation of educational policies, school curricula, and afterschool programs. In his research, he examines learning and development from sociocultural, institutional, and complex social systems perspectives. One strand of his research focuses on how curriculum and professional development support teacher learning about new standards in science. A second strand examines the role of research-practice partnerships in designing supports for teacher learning in school districts. A third strand examines how children and youth's interest in science develops over time and across different kinds of settings and in ways that are supported by digital media.
design-based implementation research, teacher learning, sociocultural approaches to classroom assessment, school curricula, afterschool programs, learning and development from sociocultural, social capital, complex social systems perspectives, designs for teacher professional development in Earth science education, the role of research-practice partnerships in designing supports for teacher learning in school districts, science interest development, learning with digital media