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Jen Richards

Jen Richards

  • Research Assistant Professor

Annenberg Hall Room 341, 2120 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208
Curriculum Vitae

Academic Area

Learning Sciences

Affiliated Center(s)

Freezing Time Research Group

Research Interests

Teacher learning; responsive learning environments; science education; research-practice partnerships.


My research focuses on two interconnected strands primarily within the context of science education. First, I co-design and study ways of cultivating responsive learning environments for both students and educators — spaces within K-12 settings that take learners’ ideas, experiences, motivations, and directions seriously. Building on this asset-based framing, I also explore resources existing within educators’ current thinking and practice that can contribute to ambitious, responsive forms of teaching and assessment. I intentionally engage in this work in partnership with practicing teachers, school district partners, and students.


  • PhD, Science Education, University of Maryland, 2013
  • MEd, Secondary Science Education, University of Maryland, 2008
  • BA, Biology, Political Science, University of Delaware, 2006

Selected Publications

Richards, J. (2023). Exploring resources for responsiveness to student thinking in practice. Journal of Teacher Education. (Link to accepted manuscript version.)

Larison, S., Richards, J., & Sherin, M. G. (2022). Tools for supporting teacher noticing about classroom video in online professional development. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education.

Richards, J. (2022). Exploring focused responsiveness as an approach to facilitation in professional learning. In C. Chinn, E. Tan, C. Chan, & Y. Kali (Eds.), Proceedings of the 16th International Conference of the Learning Sciences – ICLS 2022 (pp. 985-988). Hiroshima, Japan: International Society of the Learning Sciences.

Sherin, M. G., Richards, J., & Altshuler, M. (2021). Learning from recording video of your own classroomPhi Delta Kappan, 103(2).

Richards, J., Sherin, B. L., & Altshuler, M. (2021). Teachers’ aesthetic judgments of classroom events. In E. de Vries, Y. Hod, & J. Ahn (Eds.), Proceedings of the 15th International Conference of the Learning Sciences – ICLS 2021 (pp. 43-50). Bochum, Germany: International Society of the Learning Sciences.

Richards, J., Altshuler, M., Sherin, B. L., Sherin, M. G., & Leatherwood, C. J. (2021). Complexities and opportunities in teachers’ generation of videos from their own classroomsLearning, Culture, and Social Interaction, 28(4), 100490.

Richards, J., Elby, A., Luna, M. J., Robertson, A. D., Levin, D. M., & Nyeggen, C. G. (2020). Reframing the responsiveness challenge: A framing-anchored explanatory framework to account for irregularity in novice teachers’ attention and responsiveness to student thinkingCognition and Instruction, 38(2), 116-152.

Thompson, J., Richards, J., Shim, S-Y., Lohwasser, K., Von Esch, K., Chew, C., Sjoberg, B., & Morris, A. (2019). Launching networked PLCs: Footholds into creating and improving knowledge of ambitious and equitable teaching practices in an RPP. AERA Open, 5(3), 1-23.

Robertson, A. D., & Richards, J. (2017). Teacher sense-making about being responsive to students’ science ideas: A case study. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 5(4): 314-342.