Dr. Allen’s research aims to address institutional and systemic inequalities within STEM education by supporting the design and implementation of STEM learning reforms. She examines the ways that equity and instructional improvement efforts take on meaning and become consequential for youth and teachers in local practice. Some of her current work examines how efforts to improve STEM education intersect with students’ learning and identity work within and out of school. Her work also explores the relationships among local policy, educators’ organizational contexts, and their efforts to implement reform-based and equity-oriented pedagogies. Allen's research has been published in journals such as Journal of Learning Sciences, Journal of Teacher Education, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, and AERJ.
Prior to joining the faculty at UNT, Allen was a STEM Researcher at SRI International. Allen received her doctorate in learning sciences and human development at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Before pursuing her doctorate, she taught high school English and reading, writing, and developmental education community college courses in the Seattle area. She has a master in teacher degree from Seattle University and a BA in English Literature from Western Washington University.