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Georgia Institute of Technology
Wendy Newstetter’s research focuses on understanding cognition and learning in interdisciplines with an eye towards designing educational environments that support the development of integrative thinking and problem solving. Towards that end, she uses ethnographic methods to study in-vivo learning and problem solving in research laboratories—tissue engineering, neuroengineering and biorobotics—where the nature of the problems demands multidisciplinary teams with complementary skills and knowledge. Newstetter uses this research to then inform the design of problem-based learning (PBL) classrooms designed to support the development of integrative knowledge building and reasoning strategies. Most recently, she has been working to develop PBL models for instructional laboratories where students use techniques learned to tackle student-generated problems on the bench top. Newstetter also works with faculty both at Georgia Tech and throughout the nation through Project Kaleidoscope to develop more effective science, math, and engineering educational environments informed by learning and cognitive science research.