Rossella Santagata is Associate Professor and Faculty Director of Teacher Education at the UC Irvine School of Education. She is a founding faculty of the Center for Research in Teacher Development and Professional Practice. She holds a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from UCLA with a minor in discourse analysis.

Her research interests are in two areas: (1) Teacher learning and professional development, with a focus on the use of video to foster teacher professional growth; and (2) Teaching and learning in STEM, with a focus on both development of youths’ conceptual understanding and video as a tool to study learning interactions.

Most of her work centers on the design and study of innovative learning experiences for teachers and youth, in order to advance theory, guide practice, and suggest new directions for research.

Dr. Santagata’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusiveness is evidenced by her research, teaching, and service.

She has been the PI or co-PI on several externally funded projects, including research-practice partnerships with local under-served schools and collaborations with international partners.

The  following view on teaching guides her work:

Teaching depends on  the structure, organization, and operation of schools; these factors evolve  together over time.  They are adapted to  multiple conditions and tend toward a stable pattern: a balancing of what is  desirable (values) with what is possible (ecological realities).  History, politics, economics, and social  factors repeat, reinforce, and undermine existing practices.  Over time, teaching, like all cultural  activities and routines, becomes relatively transparent and taken for granted;  it embodies beliefs concerning what is right and proper.  The narrow range of instructional practices a  teacher happens to have observed (both as a student earlier in life and  elsewhere) is one of the major barriers to changing teaching (Gallimore and  Santagata, 2005). 

For  more details about her background, see:  SantagataCV

Rossella Santagata
Associate Professor
3200 Education Building

Key Research Areas

Teacher learning, video in teacher preparation and professional development, teaching and learning in STEM, research-practice partnerships, and cross-cultural studies of classroom teaching


Laurea in Developmental and Education Psychology, Universita` di Padova, Italy (1993)
Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology, Minor in Discourse Analysis, University of California, Los Angeles (2002)