Connect Staff

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Megan Franke PhD,  Interim Director

Megan Franke is a Professor of Education at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Franke’s research focuses on understanding and supporting teacher learning for both preservice and inservice teachers. She studies how teachers making use of research based information about the development of children’s mathematical thinking support students to learn mathematics. She is particularly interested in how teaching mathematics with attention to students’ mathematical thinking can create opportunities for low-income students of color to learn mathematics with understanding. In addition, Dr. Franke designs, prepares and studies the preparation of early childhood to 6th grade mathematics teachers. She is currently engaged in a study of teacher educator practice across three universities focused on implementation of particular teacher educator pedagogies and approximations of practice. The study addresses how the university and school contexts shape the practice and learning opportunities for teacher educators and preservice teachers. Her research work to support teachers, schools and communities was recognized with the 2012 AERA Research into Practice Award. In addition, Franke was the co-PI of the Center for Diversity in Mathematics Education (DiME) and worked across universities to support fellows active in studying equity issues in mathematics education. DiME was awarded the AERA Division G Henry Trueba Award. Dr. Franke was elected to the National Academy of Education in 2017.

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Sandra Smith, MBA, Assistant Director

Charged with the ongoing administration,  documentation and   operations for research projects onsite at the UCLA Lab School.  She manages the Institutional Review Board (IRB)  oversight for all Lab School research, and leads the second review committee (consisting of UCLA & Lab School faculty and parents) appointed bi-annually  to insure the educational mission of the school and the research projects are in alignment.  Onsite at the Lab School, she provides orientations, validates training and certification of the researchers, visiting scholars and Lab School faculty, along with supportive monitoring for ongoing research.