My research seeks to advance connections among the learning sciences, educational technologies, and equity. To this end, my scholarship has two related threads: (1) projects that advance sociopolitical theories in the learning sciences through research with minoritized youth who seek educational justice for their communities, and (2) projects that advance justice-centered learning technology designs in formal schooling contexts to support students and teachers in more equitable learning with and about technology. Through these two threads, I aim to understand learning processes that are highly consequential for minoritized communities and to build the relevance of the learning sciences for teachers, practitioners, and social justice movements.

Across my work, I deploy critical qualitative methodologies. 

From a theoretical perspective, I variously position learning as changes in discourse, changes in participation, and changes in possible futures. My dissertation work was rooted in understanding how politics, activism, and relational forms of learning came together to advance the social justice work of an LGBTQ+ youth group. More recently, with the South Asian Learning Sciences Collective, I have begun to engage non-Western orientations to learning and development (specifically, through a grant funded by the International Society for the Learning Sciences). In my postdoctoral work, I worked on in NSF-funded design-bard research studies that aimed to support students and teachers in deep scientific inquiry and problem-based learning through a video game-based learning environment called Crystal Island: EcoJourneys.

Methodologically, I explore what forms of inquiry most generatively and generously illuminate issues relevant to equity and learning. How can we engage in learning sciences research with rather than on folks? In addition to more common forms of participatory action research, I am interested in sustainable and equitable relationships between university-based researchers and community stakeholders. I draw primarily on discursive psychology, participatory research, and critical ethnography.

Other areas of interest for me include higher education math (for example, my SUNY-funded work on undergraduate math proofs courses) and higher education learning spaces (for example, my work with Indiana University’s Mosaic Initiative).

Selected Publications

  • Uttamchandani, S. (2021). Educational intimacy: Learning, prefiguration, and relationships in an LGBTQ+ youth group’s advocacy efforts. Journal of the Learning Sciences 30(1), 52-75. [Link]
  • Panos, A., Uttamchandani, S., & Lester, J.N.(2021). Beyond “doing no harm”: Saddle points in anonymization and masking as socialized practices for new researchers. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education 34(9), 871-885. [Link]   
  • Uttamchandani, S., Bhimdiwala, A., & Hmelo-Silver, C.E. (2020). Finding a place for equity in CSCL: Ambitious learning practices as a lever for sustained educational change. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 15(3), 373-382. [Link]  
  • Uttamchandani, S., & Lester, J.N. (2020). A discursive psychology study of epistemic primacy in an LGBTQ+ youth group’s textual educational materials. Discourse, Context & Media, 33. [Link]
  • Uttamchandani, S. (2018). Equity in the learning sciences: Recent themes and pathways. In J. Kay & R. Luckin (Eds.), International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2018, Volume 1 (pp. 480-487). International Society of the Learning Sciences. [Link]
  • Uttamchandani, S., & Quick, J.D. (2022). An introduction to fairness, absence of bias, and equity in learning analytics. In G. Siemens, A. Merceron, D. Gasevic, A. Wise, & C. Lang (Eds.), Handbook of learning analytics (2nd ed.) (pp. 205-212). Society for Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR).
  • Uttamchandani, S. & Lester, J.N. (2021). Language – Qualitative approaches to language in CSCL. In U. Cress, C. Rosé, A. Wise, & J. Oshima (Eds.), International handbook of computer-supported collaborative learning (pp. 605-623). Springer.
  • Curnow, J., & Uttamchandani, S. (2022). Prefiguration as learning. ISLS Rapid Community Reports. [Link]
  • Hoadley, C., & Uttamchandani, S. (2021). Current and future issues in learning, technology, and education research. Report commissioned by the Spencer Foundation. [Link]

For a full list of publications, please consult my CV.