Meet the Team

We have been privileged to work with many colleagues and students over the years. The project was initially launched in collaboration with Richard Duschl, Luke Buckland, William Pluta, Leah Hung, and John Ruppert. Over the years, our design team has also included Mike Dianovsky, Christen Drescher, Angela Goff, Paige Frankel, Alissa Bang, and the participating teachers at several of the middle schools with which we have worked in New Jersey. Sarit Barzilai and Toshio Mochizuki have contributed to our work as visiting scholars. You can meet our current team below.

Praccis team

Ravit Golan Duncan is an associate professor of science education with a joint appointment in the Graduate School of Education and the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University. She Currently has two main research strands: designing and studying of inquiry-based learning environments in life sciences that engage students with modeling and argumentation, and studying learning progressions in science education, and specifically in genetics. In addition Duncan also prepares pre-service teachers and has studied the development of pre-service teachers’ knowledge and beliefs about inquiry teaching.


Ravit Golan Duncan

Clark Chinn is Professor and Associate Dean for Research in the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. His research focuses on reasoning and argumentation, epistemic practices and epistemic cognition, conceptual change, and collaborative learning. He has drawn on philosophical scholarship to inform the development of models of epistemic cognition and the design of learning environments. With the PRACCIS team, he has worked extensively with model-based inquiry in middle-school science classes--designing learning environments and investigating how these environments promote conceptual change and epistemic growth. He has sought to integrate theories of epistemic cognition with the design of learning environments. He served as Editor of the journal Educational Psychologist from 2011 to 2015.

Clark Chinn

Clark Chinn

Randi M. Zimmerman is a doctoral student in the Learning Sciences program at Rutgers University Graduate School of Education as a Graduate Fellow. In addition to working with the PRACCIS research group with Clark Chinn and Ravit Golan-Duncan, she is also an active member of the E2 group, studying epistemic cognition. Randi is most interested in cognition, metacognition, epistemic cognition, how humans’ use of technology impacts cognition, neuroscience influenced curriculum design, science teaching methods, and the nature of science. Prior to attending Rutgers, she was a high school science teacher and adjunct instructor at CUNY Brooklyn College, the College of Staten Island, and the University of Tampa.


Randi M. Zimmerman

Na'ama Y. Av-Shalom is a Graduate Fellow in the Learning Sciences at the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University. She is also pursuing a graduate certificate in Cognitive Sciences, with a focus on philosophy. She is interested in epistemic cognition, reasoning, metacognition, argumentation, inquiry learning environments, and the nature of science for science education. Na'ama's research is currently centered on the use of epistemic criteria and evidence, classroom disagreement, and apt epistemic performance.

Na'ama Website Photo

Na'ama Av-Shalom

Veronica L. Cavera is a doctoral student in the Learning Sciences program at the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University. She is interested in the intersection of argumentation and modeling practices around science topics in inquiry classrooms, as well as how students construct complex evidence-based arguments. She also works with Ravit Golan Duncan on the I2LeaPs project and investigates how students develop reasoning skills about topics in genetics. Veronica is a teaching assistant in the division of life sciences and an instructor for the School of Arts and Sciences Educational Opportunity Fund.


Veronica Cavera

Hebbah El-Moslimany is a doctoral student at Rutgers University Graduate School of Education. She is interested in learning through inquiry, cognitive development, reasoning and argumentation, and epistemic cognition.

Hebbah El-Moslimany

Hebbah El-Moslimany

Sneha Jain is a doctoral student at Rutgers University Graduate School of Education. She is interested in conceptual change, cognition, reasoning and argumentation. Prior to attending Rutgers University, she worked on developing science and mathematics learning materials for middle school and high school students in India. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay) and a Master’s in Education from Azim Premji University, India.

Sneha Jain

Sneha Jain

Brandon R. Mauclair-Augustin is a Graduate Fellow and Ph.D. student at the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University. He specializes in the Learning Sciences and is under the advisement of Dr. Clark Chinn. He is interested in conceptual change, epistemic cognition, and social cognition. Brandon is a lecturer and works with Dr. Drew Gitomer as an evaluator of the DOE funded Excite & Ignite: NextGen program at Rutgers University-Newark.


Brandon R. Mauclair-Augustin