• 5930 Wesley W. Posvar Hall, Pittsburgh, PA 15260
  • 412-624-6787

Tara Hofkens

Graduate Researcher
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Tara is a doctoral student in Learning Science and Policy. Tara is interested in social and emotional development and academic engagement. These interests stem from her experience working in clinical and health psychology research and developing and coordinating education programs. Before graduate school, Tara worked as a research project coordinator of clinical trials investigating the role of psychological well-being, stress, and relationships on mothers and their children. At her undergraduate institution, Tara participated in numerous programs to support positive child development in schools, including co-founding and directing a literacy and mentorship to support rural children in after school programs in kindergarten through 8th grades. In her graduate studies, Tara's work has developed to include a focus on school climate and STEM learning and engagement. Recently, Tara completed a comparative case study of two middle school math teachers who implemented reform-based curriculum in their general and honors algebra classes. The study includes in depth analysis of the teachers' and students' experiences of and response to the reform. Two manuscripts from the study are forthcoming: one focuses on how participating in instructional reform changes the nature of math teachers' work and the other investigates the affective challenges of the reform for the teachers and students and how those challenges affected instruction and learning strategies. Tara enjoys spending time with her husband and 2 children. She loves the outdoors, yoga, music, hearing great stories, eating great food, and hiking with her dogs. View CV