Jess Gropen

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Jess Gropen
Senior Research Scientist

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313



Jess Gropen specializes in basic and applied research in cognitive science with a focus on language learning, early science development, and mathematics education. His current work on executive function in science, mathematics, and the language arts builds on exciting findings from contemporary research in cognitive science. (Read a blog post by Gropen about the importance of executive functions in learning.)

Gropen is the Principal Investigator of Literacy and Academic Success for English Learners through Science (LASErS), an Investing in Innovation Fund (i3) development project designed by EDC to boost the academic success of pre-K through Grade 1 English learners in Hartford, Connecticut by providing their teachers with professional development, engaging their families in enriching their science and literacy learning at home, and establishing a cadre of district, state, and national leaders to sustain and scale LASErS. He also serves as the Lead Evaluator on Education Connection's i3 project, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education for the 21st Century (STEM21).

Currently, Gropen also serves as the co-PI for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES)-funded project, Learning and Teaching Algebra, which is designed to help teachers in their first year of using CME Project, an EDC-developed high school mathematics curriculum. A particular focus of this project is on supporting the ability of teachers and students to adopt algebraic “habits of mind.” Previously, Gropen served as the Principal Investigator of the IES-funded Cultivating Young Scientists project.

He is the lead author of "Foundations of Science Literacy:  Efficacy of a Preschool Professional Development Program in Science on Classroom Instruction, Teachers' Pedagogical Content Knowledge, and Children's Observations and Predictions." 

Before joining EDC, Gropen was an assistant professor at McGill University and Simmons College.  He received a BA from Pomona College and a PhD in cognitive science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.