Phil Vahey, Director of Strategic Research and Innovation, Center for Technology in Learning

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Phil J. Vahey

Director of Strategic Research and Innovation, SRI Education

Phil Vahey, Ph.D., is director of Strategic Research and Innovation at SRI Education. In his research Vahey examines the design and use of technology-based systems that enhance the learning of conceptually difficult STEM concepts, as well as how to scale up the use of these systems.

His research has focused on the use of computer-based dynamic representations for making foundational concepts in mathematics accessible to a diverse student population, the use of advanced technologies for increasing the effectiveness of personalized learning environments, and the use of media and games for making ideas in mathematics, science, and computational thinking more accessible for preschool children. Vahey has led the Cornerstone and SunBay Digital Mathematics projects and multiple projects for commercial clients, and he is the SRI lead on the Ready to Learn evaluation and the Next Generation Preschool Math project.

Vahey also works with industry and other partners to bring research findings, results, and knowledge into products with wide reach.

Vahey has published and presented on the design of learning environments, design processes that allow for varied stakeholders to productively collaborate in the design of learning environments, and evaluations of learning environments. Vahey is a regular reviewer for the International Conference of the Learning Sciences, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Research Conference, and the AERA annual conference, and he has served on multiple National Science Foundation review panels.

Before entering education research, Vahey was a computer programmer and program manager at FileMaker, Inc. (an Apple subsidiary at the time it was Claris Corporation).

Vahey has a B.Sc. in math and computer science from McGill University and a master’s and doctorate in education from the University of California, Berkeley.

Key Projects

  1. Ready to Learn Evaluation
  2. SunBay Digital Mathematics
  3. Cornerstone Math
  4. Next Generation Preschool Math
  5. Developing the Next Generation of Problem Solvers
  6. Investigating How English Language Learners Use Dynamic Representational Technology to Participate in Middle School Mathematical Practices

Selected Publications

  1. Vahey, P., Reider, D., Orr, J., Lewis Presser, A., & Dominguez, X. (2018). The evidence based curriculum design framework: Leveraging diverse perspectives in the design process. International Journal of Designs for Learning, 9(1), 135-148.
  2. Vahey, P., Vidiksis, R., & Gutierrez, J. (in press). What early childhood educators need in order to use digital media effectively. In S. Pasnik (Ed.), Getting ready to learn: Creating effective, educational children’s media. Routledge.
  3. Vahey, P., Knudsen, J., Rafanan, K., & Lara-Meloy, T. (2013). Curricular activity systems supporting the use of dynamic representations to foster students’ deep understanding of mathematics. In C. Mouza & N. Lavigne (Eds.), Emerging technologies for the classroom: A learning sciences perspective (pp. 15–30). New York, NY: Springer.
  4. Vahey, P., Roy, G., & Fueyo, V. (2013). Sustainable use of dynamic representational environments: Toward a district-wide adoption of SimCalc-based materials In S. Hegedus & J. Roschelle (Eds.), The SimCalc visions and contributions: Democratizing access to important mathematics (pp. 183–202). New York, NY: Springer.
  5. Vahey, P., Lewis Presser, A., & Dominguez, X. (2013, December). Technology and the future of preschool: Developmentally appropriate and evidence-based approaches to integrating technology in the classroom. Invited presentation to the NSF STEM SMART: Lessons Learned from Successful Schools Conference, Washington, DC.
Phil Vahey, Center for Technology in Learning