- Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology, University of Wyoming,2011
M.S. in Experimental Psychology, University of Wyoming,2008
B.S. in Psychology,Clemson University,2005
Maggie Renken’s research focuses on understanding students’ scientific thinking. Projects explore how science knowledge is acquired by considering the role of underlying mechanisms, like epistemic cognition, and their development. This work is intended to inform approaches for assessing and improving scientific thinking and learning. Her research considering the role of text-based explanations, hands-on experimentation, and computer-simulated experiences in students’ disciplinary core knowledge has been recognized with an Outstanding Masters’ Thesis award from the University of Wyoming, an Outstanding Dissertation award from the Educational Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association, and an Award for Outstanding Research from GSU’s Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education. Since her time as an NSF Graduate Fellow in K-12 STEM education with the University of Wyoming’s Science Posse, Renken has worked with K-12 educators in a variety of school settings, with researchers in ecology, mathematics, engineering, biology, physics, and geosciences, and with science education researchers in 8 countries outside the United States including India, Denmark, France, Italy, Greece, New Zealand, China, and Canada.
Renken, M., McMahan, E., and Nitkova, M. (in press). “Initial validation of an instrument measuring psychology-specific epistemological beliefs.” Teaching of Psychology.
Kehn, A., Renken, M., Gray, J., and Nunez, N. (in press). “Developmental trends in the process of constructing own- and other-race facial composites.” The Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied.
Litkowski, E.., and Renken, M. (2013). “Trusting What You’re Told: How Children Learn From Others, by Paul L. Harris.” The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 2012. 253 pp. ISBN 978-0-674-06572-7.: BOOK REVIEWS. Science Education, 97(5), 797–799. doi:10.1002/sce.21063.
Renken, M. D., and Nunez, N. (2013). “Computer simulations and clear observations do not guarantee conceptual understanding.” Learning and Instruction, 23, 10–23. doi:10.1016/j.learninstruc.2012.08.006
Renken, M. D., and Nunez, N. (2010). “Evidence for improved conclusion accuracy after reading about rather than conducting a belief-inconsistent simple physics experiment.” Journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology, 24, 6, p.792-817. doi: 10.1002/acp.1587.
Herbinson, K., and Renken, M. (2010). “The Science Posse: Innovative outreach connecting graduate fellows and K-12 students.” American Physical Society, Forum on Education Newsletter.