Molly Shea

Assistant Professor of Education

Research Areas

Learning in Social Movements

Learning Science

Technology and Learning

Scholar Snapshot

Professor Shea’s research considers issues of power in informal and formal learning environments and what people do to reorganize for more just social futures. This includes exploring how people build knowledge and expertise as they seek to transform their social circumstances, how people leverage technology to inform and change practices, and how people attend to power in contexts of teaching and learning given histories of social injustice.

Professor Shea is primary investigator for a National Science Foundation-funded project that focuses on developing high-tech, low-cost making projects to enhance computational teaching and learning alongside communities. This work centers the pedagogical expertise of community educators in the design of culturally sustaining digital projects and curricula. Before joining the University of Washington faculty, she served as director of the Center for Informal Learning and Schools at the Exploratorium in San Francisco and as an assistant professor at San Francisco State University.

Her most recent publications include “Using historical and political understanding to design for equity in science education” in Science Education, “Extending the consequentiality of ‘invisible work’ in the food justice movement” and “Student-led organizing for sustainability in business” in Cognition and Instruction, and “Learning in equity-oriented scale-making” in The Journal of the Learning Sciences.

In Depth

Read Professor Shea’s recent article on what made learning consequential in a community organizing context.