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Principal Investigator and Founder-STEAM Language, Learning, and Identity Research Lab
Shakhnoza is an Assistant Professor in the Department of STEM Education and Teacher Development as well as a Research Scientist at the Kaput Center for STEM Education Research and Innovation. Shakhnoza is the founder of the STEAM Language, Learning, and Identity Research lab aimed at improving equitable outcomes in Stem Education. Shakhnoza is the NSF Early CAREER awardee and recognized for her work that bridges university research and community engagement with schools, teachers, families and children/youth. One of the main lines of Shakhnoza’s research inquiry is concerned with understanding how to make science education more equitable space for young people from traditionally underserved communities through the design of teaching and learning ecologies embedded in cultural, linguistic, and epistemic heterogeneity. Issues of language, identity, race, and gender, broadly construed as power dynamics, are recurrent themes in her research. A primary focus of Shakhnoza’s research is to generate detailed and nuanced accounts of science teaching and learning in formal and informal contexts, aimed at developing and designing equitable and robust teaching and learning ecologies with, and for, diverse communities of learners and their families. Shakhnoza’s current research examines the ways in which dominant culture, language related ability perceptions, traditional epistemic perspectives and methods, and positioning of diverse learners in relation to these norms play themselves out in marginalization of ethnically-linguistically diverse students from participation in robust STEM practices, and their consequential effects on emerging language and academic repertoires and identities of ethically and linguistically diverse young people and their communities. Shakhnoza works with diverse community members such as children, youth, families, teachers, administrators and university colleagues to collectively re-design and transform STEM learning spaces to make them more inclusive and equitable ecologies for all.