Faculty and Staff
Personal Pages

Faculty and Staff

Faculty Personal Pages

K. Ann Renninger

Department of Educational Studies
Swarthmore College
500 College Ave.
Swarthmore, PA 19081-1397
Email: krennin1@swarthmore.edu
Office: 610-328-8347
Lab: 610-328-8611
Fax: 610-690- 6892
(Please mark any faxed materials with Ann's name)


Introduction to Education (Ed 14)
Educational Psychology (Ed 21) (See also, Educational psychology laboratory below)
Curriculum and Methods Seminar (Ed 17)
Supervision of Student Teachers (Ed 16)
Child Psychology and Practice, Honors Seminar (Ed 121)
(See also, Educational psychology laboratory below)

Educational Psychology Laboratory

Research and Teaching Interests:

I generally am interested in: (a) the role of individual interest in students' cognition; (b) change in the cognitive and affective functioning of learners; and (c) links between theory, research and practice as these pertain to changed understanding.

My research program focuses specifically on the role of individual interest in students' cognition. I have studied questions related to this topic across a variety of contexts including children's play and students' work with: expository text, mathematical word problems, and science. I have also undertaken editing responsibilities and writing that focuses on the implications of research in developmental psychology for educational practice in school, community-based, and on-line learning environments.

My teaching responsibilities reflect my research interests. Some courses I teach involve a focus on theory and research about how students learn and require consideration of the implications of this work for practice (Introduction to Education, Educational Psychology, Child Psychology and Practice). Others are grounded in the practice of teaching and informed by theory and research about how students learn (Curriculum and Methods, Supervision of Student Teachers).

I regularly spend time involved in field-based responsibilities by way of anchoring my thinking as a researcher and a teacher. This work has had various casts. Common to each is a focus on learning, motivation, and the design of learning environments to enhance learning. Most recently, I have been working as a local evaluator for the Math Forum at Drexel (www.mathforum.org), a virtual resource center for mathematics. In the past this commitment to maintain direct involvement in practice has included: work with the Chinatown Tutorial Outreach Project housed at Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr, and Haverford College and the University of Pennsylvania; the Chester-Swarthmore College Coalition at the William Penn Housing Project and in Christopher Columbus Elementary School, Chester, PA; facilitation of on-line discussions for teachers about current research efforts in mathematics learning; work with grade K-2 teachers in the local Wallingford-Swarthmore School District to incorporate more developmental approaches in their work with students; and in-services for teachers ranging from individualizing instruction, multicultural approaches to education, to workshops on science instruction.

Representative publications:

The Math Forum BRAP Project (2000). Encouraging mathematical thinking: Discourse around a rich problem.

Renninger, K.A. (1998). Developmental psychology and instruction: Issues from and for practice. In I.E. Sigel & K.A. Renninger (Vol. Eds.) Child psychology in practice, Volume 4. In W. Damon (Gen. Ed.), Handbook of child psychology (pp. 211-274), 5th edition. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons.

Renninger, K. A. (in press). Effort and interest. In J. Gutherie (Gen. Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Education, Second edition. New York: Macmillan.

Renninger, K.A. (2000). Individual interest and its implications for understanding intrinsic motivation. In C. Sansone and J. M. Harackiewicz (Eds.) Intrinsic motivation: Controversies and new directions (pp. 373-404). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

Renninger, K. A. & Hidi, S. (2002). Interest and achievement: Developmental issues raised by a case study. In A. Wigfield & J. Eccles (Eds.), Development of achievement motivation (pp. 173-195). New York: Academic Press.

Renninger, K.A., Ewen, E., & Lasher, A.K. (2002). Individual interest as context in expository text and mathematical word problems. Learning and Instruction, 12, 467-491.

Renninger, K.A., Farra, L., & Feldman-Riordan, C. (2000). The impact of The Math Forum's Problems of the Week on students' mathematical thinking. Proceedings of ICLS 2000. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Renninger, K.A. & Shumar, W. (1998). Why and how students work with The Math Forum's Problem(s) of the Week: Implications for design. Proceedings of ICLS 98 (pp. 348-350). Charlottesville, VA: AACE.

Renninger, K.A. & Shumar, W. (2002). Community building with and for teachers: The Math Forum as a resource for teacher professional development. In K.A. Renninger & W. Shumar (Eds.), Building virtual communities: Learning and change in cyberspace(pp. 60-95). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Shumar, W. & Renninger, K.A. (2002). On community building. In K.A. Renninger & W. Shumar (Eds.), Building virtual communities: Learning and change in cyberspace (pp. 1-17) . New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

©2002 The Department of Educational Studies, Swarthmore College
Web Credits: Anteneh Tesfaye '03, Lisa Smulyan, Ann Renninger