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Andrea D. Beesley

Senior Principal Education Researcher, SRI Education

Andrea Beesley has more than 20 years of experience designing and leading large research, evaluation, and design and development projects. This includes more than 15 years of experience on IES-funded projects, such as REL Central, REL Pacific, and REL Appalachia, leading three IES NCER research grants, and serving as the co-PI of the National Evaluation of the Comprehensive Centers. She focuses on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), digital learning, motivation, and rural education. As an educational psychologist and instructional designer, she conducts experimental and mixed methods studies of STEM program efficacy and development studies of new programs. Her background as a classroom teacher informs her focus on research in partnership with practitioners.

Dr. Beesley has studied successful rural teacher and principal recruitment and retention strategies, rural student mobility patterns, rural principal job satisfaction and working conditions, and characteristics of high-performing rural schools in the High Plains states. Beesley has also studied partnerships between rural school districts and Tribal Education Departments in the West and the Northwest. She served on the Rural Education Technical Working Group at the U.S. Department of Education. She is the external evaluation partner for the Region 11 Comprehensive Center, serving Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

In STEM and digital learning, Dr. Beesley’s work includes studies of mathematics identity in after-school programs, Python programming activities as a scaffold for mathematics generalization, game design to increase computer science interest, and a large-scale 1:1 iPad initiative in under-resourced schools.

Beesley has published applied education research in such journals as School Science and Mathematics and the Peabody Journal of Education as well as practitioner-oriented outlets such as Annual Perspectives in Mathematics Education. She presents her work at conferences of the American Educational Research Association, the American Evaluation Association, the International Society for Technology in Education, and the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. Beesley is the past president of the Colorado Evaluation Network, the Colorado affiliate of the American Evaluation Association.

Beesley earned her PhD in instructional psychology and technology from the University of Oklahoma and MEd in secondary education from Oklahoma City University. She holds a BA in literature from Yale University.

Key projects

  1. Apple and ConnectED Initiative Evaluation
  2. Collaborative Partnership to Teach Mathematical Reasoning Through Computer Programming
  3. Region 11 Comprehensive Center Evaluation
  4. Evaluation of eDGE (eSTEM Designing Games for Education)
  5. Improving Math Identity for Underrepresented Populations: An Implementation and Impact Study of After-School Math Plus
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