Kimberly A. Breed
Program of Study: Learning, Culture & Technology Studies PhD, University of California,
Year in the Program: First Year
Research Interests: Kimberly’s research interests revolve around understanding the effects of disciplines-based & strength-based models of authentic learning on student engagement, agency & identity formation. She is interested in learning how to see the culture being co-constructed in the classroom through the ethnographic lens to better study the opportunities for learning that are created, how students take up these opportunities, and the dynamic interactions of learner, teacher, curriculum and community. She is particularly interested in student perspectives and the inclusion of student voices in policy-making.
Prior to joining UCSB in 2013, Kimberly spent 12 years managing a philanthropic group, Partners of ’63, which partnered with entrepreneurial programs aimed at making a difference in education, on various levels. Two programs have been especially influential in developing her perspective: 1) RULER Group (run by Yale’s Center for Emotional Intelligence), a model for teaching emotional literacy and regulation skills to all school members (not just students), which is grounded in Salovey & Mayer’s empirical skill-based model of emotional intelligence; and 2) Expeditionary Learning, a school improvement model that engages students in meaningful learning by focusing student work around the concepts and methodologies of a discipline in the creative production of authentic products. This model also includes character- and community-building components that are designed to add additional layers of meaning and interconnectedness to learning. Kimberly’s interest in education was sparked nearly 20 years ago by a “need to know.” As the parent of two “twice exceptional” (gifted/LD) sons, she continuously sought knowledge and insights that would help her: 1) advocate for counterintuitive approaches inside the classroom; and 2) provide opportunities for fostering their talents and passions for learning outside of school.