A member of the SUSE faculty since 2000, Dr. Schwartz studies student understanding and representation and the ways that technology can facilitate learning. He works at the intersection of cognitive science, computer science, and education, examining cognition and instruction in individual, cross-cultural, and technological settings. A theme throughout Dr. Schwartz's research is how people's facility for spatial thinking can inform and influence processes of learning, instruction, assessment and problem solving. He finds that new media make it possible to exploit spatial representations and activities in fundamentally new ways, offering an exciting complement to the verbal approaches that dominate educational research and practice.

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Professor of Education, Stanford Graduate School of Education (2000 - Present)
  • Dean, I. James Quillen (2018 - Present)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Assistant and Associate Professor of Psychology and Human Development, Vanderbilt University (2018 - Present)
  • Programmer & Instructor in Lisp, C, & Assembler, . (2018 - Present)
  • Research Scientist, Learning Technology Center at Vanderbilt (2018 - Present)
  • Teacher of Mathematics, Kitiwanga Day School, Kitiwanga, Kenya (2018 - Present)
  • Teacher of Mathematics, Science, Reading and Language Arts, Kaltag Jr. & Sr. High Schools, Kaltag, AK (2018 - Present)
  • Teacher of Remedial Reading and Writing, John Muir Jr. High, Los Angeles, CA (2018 - Present)

Professional Education

  • PhD, Columbia University, Human Cognition and Learning (1992)
  • MA, Columbia University, Computers and Education (1988)
  • BA, Swarthmore College, Philosophy and Anthropology (1979)
  • Teaching Certificate, University of Southern California (1981)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Instructional methods, transfer of learning and assessment, mathematical development, teachable agents, cognition, and cognitive neuroscience.


  • Research on the benefits of informal learning for subsequent school-based instruction


    United States

  • Serving on the National Academy of Sciences committee to write How People Learn II


    United States

  • Designing Contrasting Cases for Inductive Learning (2014 - 2017)

    Principal Investigator, Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences grant, Designing Contrasting Cases for Inductive Learning


    United States

2018-19 Courses

Stanford Advisees