Teo (Danielle) Keifert

Assistant Professor
Danielle Keifert

Educational Psychology

Ph.D. 2015, Northwestern University
Matthews Hall 316



 Teo (Danielle) Keifert (she/they) is a learning scientist, researcher, educator, and assistant professor in the College of Education at the University of North Texas. Teo studies how young children orient to inquiry, and the sensemaking resources they draw upon during inquiry. These include resources like engaging in imaginative embodiment by acting like a creature with feet on the back of your head to explore anatomy, engaging in thought experiments like imagining standing in boiling water or becoming a water particle to explore states of matter, and even drawing to make sense of engineering challenges. They also examine the sensemaking practices of young children's families and explore how children may be constrained/supported to engage in those practices across home and school. Teo broadens forms of supported sensemaking through design-based research and professional learning partnerships; Teo has studied how mixed-reality technologies support young children’s sensemaking in science through play and embodiment (Science through Technology Enhanced Play, National Science Foundation grant, PIs Enyedy, Danish), how to support elementary teachers to design for transformational learning for all learners, including multilingual learners (Representations for Teachers as Learners project, McDonnell Foundation grant), and studies how to design for pre-service teachers to make sense of their past learning through the lenses of expansive socio-cultural theories to (re)envision new possibilities for their future students. Through this work they seek to broaden participation in science practices not just by including more individuals from marginalized communities in science, but also by expanding what counts as science. Teo earned her PhD from the Learning Sciences program at Northwestern University after five years as a middle math and science teacher and is the proud human of a rescue pup named Gracie.