Teo (Danielle) Keifert

Assistant Professor, Learning Sciences

Educational Psychology

Ph.D. 2015, Northwestern University
Matthews Hall 316



 Teo (Danielle) Keifert (they/them) is a learning scientist, researcher, educator, and assistant professor in the College of Education at the University of North Texas. Teo studies young children's brilliance and how to cultivate that brilliance in science classroom learning. They focus on children's practices for inquiry and making. 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, drawing to make sense of engineering challenges, and creating cardboard representations of important moments to story life experience.

Teo's work examines family culture as a context for young children's inquiring and making sense of the world. They have partnered with COVID-cautious families across the U.S. to develop co-observation methodologies toward more ethically and ecologically valid forms of research with children (Learning, Being and doing in Families Study, Spencer Foundational Small Grant, PI Keifert).

Teo broadens forms of supported sensemaking in classrooms through design-based research and professional learning partnerships; Teo has studies 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 Foundatioin grant), and 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 (Equitable Science Sensemaking, National Science Foundation grant, PIs Pierson, Keifert, Jeong, Johnson, Henrie). Through this work, they seek to broaden participation in sciecne practices not just by including more individuals from marginalized communities in science, but also by expanding what counts as science.

Teo earned their 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.