Position: Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education
Institution: Berkeley, University of California
Dor is a design-based researcher who develops and evaluates theoretical models of mathematics learning and teaching by analyzing empirical data collected during implementations of his innovative pedagogical design. Drawing on embodiment and socio-cultural perspectives, Abrahamson views grounded learning as formal signification of informal knowledge. He focuses on student and teacher use of various modalities, media, discursive genres, semiotic systems, metaphor, and inference as they co-accomplish the reconciliation of perceptually immediate and culturally mediated constructions of dynamical situated phenomena. At the core of Abrahamson's practice are cognitive domain re-analyses of foundational mathematical content with an eye on creating learning materials and activities. This research program also informs emerging frameworks guiding the design of learning materials and activities. Abrahamson has worked mostly on the concepts of proportion probability, and algebra, and his artifacts include both traditional media, such as a tubful of marbles, and recent technologies, such as remote-controlling virtual objects on a computer screen, as well as agent-based simulations of stochastic phenomena from a complexity perspective. Abrahamson directs the Embodied Design Research Laboratory and is a recipient of a National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship for Seeing Chance, a design-based research project that investigated how students build personal meaning for probability concepts. Abrahamson has published peer-reviewed articles in leading educational research journals, including Cognition and Instruction, Educational Studies in Mathematics, Journal of the Learning Sciences, Mathematical Thinking and Learning, and Technology, Knowledge, and Learning. He is co-author (with Robb Lindgren, UIUC) of a chapter on “Embodiment and Embodied Design” in the 2nd Edition of the Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences, and is currently working on a National Science Foundation award (co-PI with Michael Neff, UC Davis) for the Cyberlearning project Gesture Enhancement of Virtual Agent Mathematics Tutor.