Kreshnik Begolli

School of Education

Email: kbegolli@uci.edu

phone: (949) 824-5118

office: Education 3200

*Research Scientist*School of Education

Email: kbegolli@uci.edu

phone: (949) 824-5118

office: Education 3200

**Biography**

My research interests include playful learning, higher order thinking, math cognition, executive functions, spatial thinking, socioemotional factors, innovative learning interventions and research methodologies (indoor/outdoor, low/high tech). In my research program I investigate two interwoven strands of questions that feed off each other. How do children learn higher order thinking skills? How can we improve teaching and learning of higher order thinking skills?

To understand

**, I investigate mechanisms of learning process related to critical thinking and problem solving that require reasoners to move beyond memorizing information, and to think about relationships between existing ideas to conceptualize innovative ways to frame solutions to new problems. This cognitive practice of making inferences and drawing relationships by comparing and contrasting concepts to solve new problems – known in the psychological literature as**

*how children learn**analogical reasoning*– is at the core of higher order thinking skills.

In this work, I have systematically examined socioemotional factors (e.g. stereotype threat), cognitive skills (e.g. spatial thinking, executive functions, math cognition), and pedagogical tools that support higher order thinking in mathematics classrooms using rigorous experiments and advanced statistical methods (Multilevel Modeling, Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor Analysis, Multiple Imputation, & Multiple Regressions).

To understand

**, I have worked on developing ecologically valid methodologies that allow for rigorous experimentation in otherwise difficult to control settings like classrooms and outdoor spaces.**

*how to improve teaching and learning*In classrooms, Associate Professor Lindsey Richland and I used video to investigate students’ higher order thinking in response to video captured teaching actions, embedded in student-teacher classroom interactions. Associate Professor Susanne Jaeggi and I also probed into individual differences in children’s executive function processes and socioemotional factors to understand teaching strategies that support learning for all students.

In a related line of work, I have examined the types of spatial representations that help students learn about ratios, with Professor Nora Newcombe from Temple University, and developed worksheets, with Professor Julie Booth, also from Temple University, that synthesize psychological literature in spatial thinking, worked-examples, self-explanations, and mathematics cognition.

Yet, about 80% of children’s waking time is spent outside of school and to understand teaching and learning outside the classroom, there is a need for transforming outdoor spaces into landscapes for thinking and learning through play. In this work, I have led projects that transformed the traditional game of basketball to teach fractions and decimals in a game called Fraction Ball, with Assistant Professor Andres Bustamante, and, with Professor Kathy Hirsh-Pasek at Temple University, researched the impact of the game, Parkopolis, which fosters higher order thinking in STEM, executive function skills, and physical activity through playful learning.

Education: Begolli received his Ph.D. in Education from UCI Irvine in 2015. He specialized Learning, Cognition, and Development. From 2015 to 2017, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Temple University.

**Publications**

**Journal Articles****Begolli, K. N.,**Booth, J. L., Holmes, C., Newcombe, N. S. (2020). How many apples make a quarter? The challenge of discrete fraction formats.

*Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 192,*104774.

Bustamante, A. S., Schlesinger, M.,

**Begolli, K. N.**, Golinkoff, R. M, Shahidi, N., Zonji, S., Riesen, C., Evans, N., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2020). More than Just a Game: Transforming Social Interaction and STEM play with Parkopolis.

*Developmental Psychology, 56*(6), 1041–1056.

**Begolli, K. N.**, Richland, L. E., Lyons, E., Jaeggi, S. & Matlen, B. (2018). Executive functions in learning mathematics by comparing representations: Incorporating everyday classrooms into the science of learning.

*Thinking and Reasoning.*1-34.

Lyons, E., Simms, N., Frausel, R.,

**Begolli, K. N.**, & Richland, L. E. (2017). Stereotype threat effects on learning from a cognitively taxing mathematics lesson.

*Cognitive Science.*1-13.

**Begolli, K.N.,**& Richland, L. E. (2017). Bridging cognitive science and real classrooms: A video methodology for experimental research.

*Journal of Experimental Education.*1-19.

**Begolli, K. N.**, & Richland, L. E. (2016). Teaching mathematics by comparison: Analog visibility as a double-edged Sword.

*Journal of Educational Psychology, 108(2),*194–213.

Richland, L. E., &

**Begolli, K. N.**(2016). Analogy and higher order thinking: Learning mathematics as an example.

*Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences*(PIBBS).

*Vol. 3*(2) 160–168.

Richland, L. E.,

**Begolli, K. N**., Simms, N., Frausel, R. R., & Lyons, E. A. (2016). Supporting mathematical discussions: The roles of comparison and cognitive load.

*Educational Psychology Review*, 1–13.

**Peer Reviewed Conference Proceedings****Begolli, K. N.,**Herd, B., Sayonno, H., Jaeggi, S. M., Richland, L.E. (2016). The effects of gender stereotypes on structure mapping in mathematics. In Papafragou, A., Grodner, D., Mirman, D., & Trueswell, J.C. (Eds.)

*Proceedings of the 38th Annual Cognitive Science Society*(pp. 2015-2020)

*.*Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

Booth, J. L.,

**Begolli, K. N.,**McCann, N. F. (2016). The effect of student learning and error anticipation in algebra. Paper presented at the

*Thirty-Eighth meeting of the North American Chapter of The International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education.*Tucson, AZ.

**Begolli, K. N.,**Richland, L. E., Jaeggi, S. M. (2015). The role of executive functions for structure-mapping in mathematics. In Noelle, D. C., Dale, R., Warlaumont, A. S., Yoshimi, J., Matlock, T., Jennings, C. D., & Maglio, P. P. (Eds.)

*Proceedings of the 37th Annual Cognitive Science Society*(pp. 208-213)

*.*Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

**Begolli, K. N.**& Richland, L. E. (2013) Visual support for instructional analogy: Context matters. In Knauf, M., Pauen, M., Sebanz, N., & Wachsmuth, I. (Eds.)

*Proceedings of the 35th Annual Cognitive Science Society*(pp. 1863-1868). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

**Book Chapters**Richland, L. E.,

**Begolli, K. N.**, & Näslund-Hadley, E. (2020). The development of mathematical thinking in children. In Ortiz, A. O., Cristia, J, Cueto S. (Eds.)

*Learning Mathematics in the 21st Century: Adding Technology to the Equation.*Washington, DC: The Inter-American Development Bank

*.*

Vu, V., Liu, D., &

**Begolli, K**. (2018). Expressive Robotics. In Z. Babaci-Wilhite (Ed),

*Promoting Language and STEAM as Human Rights in Education: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.*New York: Springer.

Booth, J. L., McGinn, K. M., Barbieri, C.,

**Begolli, K. N.**, Chang, B, Miller-Cotto, D., Young, L. K., & Davenport, J. L. (2017). Evidence for cognitive science principles that impact learning in mathematics. In D. C. Geary & D. Berch, (Eds.)

*Mathematical Cognition and Learning Volume 3*.

Richland, L. E., Frausel, R. R., &

**Begolli, K. N.**(2016). Cognitive development,

*The SAGE Encyclopedia of Theory in Psychology,*Harold (Hal) L. Miller.

**Blogs**Bustamante, A. S.,

**Begolli, K.**, Alvarez-Vargas, D., & Hadani, H. S., (2020, July 21). Having a ball with fractions: Fostering math skills through playful learning.

*Education Plus Development (blog),*Brookings Institution. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/education-plus-development/2020/07/21

**Manuscripts under review****Begolli, K. N.**, Dai T., McGinn, K. M., & Booth, J. L. (under review). Probability out of Proportion: Self-Explanation and Example-Based Practice Help Low Proportional Reasoning Students Learn Probability.

**Begolli, K.,**Herd, B., Sayonno, H., Jaeggi, S., & Richland, L. E. (under review). Threat of gender stereotypes during learning of mathematical concepts.

McDonough, I.,

**Begolli, K. N.**, Richland, L. E., & Kornell, N

*.*(under review). Limiting feedback increases study time and metacognitive accuracy.

**September 2020**