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Photo of Ko, Monica

Monica Ko

Research Assistant Professor

Learning Sciences Research Institute


Building & Room:

1570-F SSB


1240 W. Harrison St.

Office Phone:

(312) 413-2383


CV Download:

CV_Ko_Feb_2022 (1)


Mon-Lin Monica Ko is a Visiting Research Assistant Professor at LSRI. Her research aims to make science learning more meaningful to secondary science students. She does this through two primary activities: the design and facilitation of professional learning opportunities for teachers and design-based research activities and co-design work with teachers.  Within these contexts, she looks at how classrooms develop the norms and dispositions that promote students’ epistemic agency, the kinds of learning experiences that help teachers make inroads to supporting students as epistemic agents, and how co-design work might be leveraged to promote teacher learning. She holds a PhD in Learning Sciences and a BA in Biology with an emphasis on Neurobiology from Northwestern University.

Selected Grants

James S. McDonnell Foundation, How Teachers Learn: Orchestrating Disciplinary Discourse in Science, Literature, and Mathematics Classrooms., Co-Principle Investigator

National Science Foundation, Assessment Literacy for the Development of Teacher Understanding with the Next Generation Science Standards, Senior Investigator

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Equipping Middle School Teachers with Resources to Monitor the Progress of Their Students’ Science Learning, Senior Investigator

Betty and Gordon Moore Foundation, Designing Next Generation Assessments to Support the Teaching and Learning of Life Science, Senior Investigator

Selected Publications

Ko, M. & Krist, C. (in press). Opening up curricula to re-distribute epistemic agency: A framework for supporting science teaching. Science Education.

Ko, M. & Elby, A (2018). Talking Past One Another: Looking for signs of Conversational Mismatch in One 6th grade Science Classroom In Kay, J. and Luckin, R. (Eds.). Rethinking Learning in the Digital Age: Making the Learning Sciences Count, 13th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2018.London, UK: International Society of the Learning Sciences.

Goldman, S. R., Ko, M., Greenleaf, C., & Brown, W. (2018). Domain-specificity in the practices of explanation, modeling, and argument in the sciences. In Scientific Reasoning and Argumentation (pp. 131–151). New York, NY: Routledge.

Ko, M., Goldman, R., Radinsky, J.R., James, K., Hall, A., Popp, J., Bolz, M., George, M. (2016) Looking under the hood: Productive messiness in design for argumentation in science, literature and history. In Svhila V. & Reeve, R. (Eds) Untold story: Design as Scholarship In the Learning Sciences. New York, NY: Routledge.


2013 - PhD, Northwestern University, Learning Sciences
2005 - Northwestern University, Biology, emphasis in Neurobiology

Professional Memberships

American Education Research Association

National Association of Research in Science Teaching

International Society of Learning Sciences

Selected Presentations

Ko, M., & Luna, M.J. (2019) Unpacking Talk in a Dialogic Science Classroom Through an Analysis of Metadiscourse.  Presentation at the American Education Research Association, Toronto, Canada. April 5-9.

Ko, M., Goldman, S.R., Greenleaf, C., Brown, W. (2017) Supporting Literacy as Science Practice. Paper presented at the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, San Antonio, TX, April 22-17.

Ko, M., Goldman S.R. (2017) Opportunity to Learn Science: Changing Teacher Practice, Changing Student Outcomes. Presentation at the American Education Research Association, San Antonio, Texas, April 27-May 1.