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Postdoctoral Scholar: UC Davis School of Education

We are no longer accepting applications for this recruitment


The newly funded Teachers as Learners (TaL) Project in the School of Education at UC Davis seeks a full-time Postdoctoral Scholar with expertise and interest in teachers as learners, classroom communication and discourse, learning theories, and teacher education and development. The successful candidate will engage with and help manage the new project entitled “New Teachers Learning Disciplined Improvisation for Meaningful Talk in Diverse Classrooms” funded by the James S. McDonnell Foundation.

The project brings together a newly formed and exciting team of scholars, graduate and undergraduate students, and teacher partners to investigate teacher cognition and learning in core practices of classroom communication. The focus is on how teachers learn to lead discussions in secondary English and elicit student thinking in elementary science. We also focus on linguistically diverse learners and their communicative repertoires that may be leveraged for learning. Teachers need repertoires of knowledge and practice for classroom communication, and need the capacity to enact practices, reflect in and on action, and learn to adapt in-the-moment of classroom discourse ripe with opportunities for student learning. The project investigates cognitive underpinnings of disciplined improvisation, a form of adaptive expertise that benefits from conceptually rich knowledge of teaching practices and their effects. We explore ways novice teachers can learn improvisational processes, with discipline and structure, of in-the-moment facilitation.


  • Coordinate a large team of scholars, students, and teachers
  • Engage in systematic processes for collecting, organizing, and analyzing data
  • Manage a large database of teacher writing, video footage, and audio taped conversations
  • Develop and share knowledge and theory that contributes to the research base
  • Work collaboratively to generate research results for multiple audiences
  • Facilitate small teacher teams engaged in professional development and teacher inquiry
  • Organize and participate in classroom observations in regional schools
  • Develop new tools/routines/data management/data analysis processes for project use
  • Keep abreast of relevant fields in educational research and development
  • Assist in proposal development for conference presentations and additional grant funding
  • Work together effectively with a variety of staff, advisory board members, and teacher partners on multiple project strands
  • Participate in site visits at local schools

Required qualifications

  • Ph.D. or equivalent in Teaching, Teacher Education, Learning Sciences, Curriculum & Instruction, Discourse Processes, or related field
  • Relevant research experience in settings serving culturally and linguistically diverse populations, with demonstrated equity orientation (via publications, presentations, research interest)
  • Rigorous training in classroom discourse analysis/discourse analysis
  • Demonstrated ability to publish research in academic journals
  • Demonstrated ability as a team player, willing to pitch in and do what needs to be done
  • Excellent communication skills

Preferred qualifications

  • P-12 teaching experience
  • Experience in teacher coaching or supervision
  • Project management experience

Other Opportunities and Expectations

  • Mentoring. This is a grant-funded, 100% FTE position under the mentorship of Dr. Steven Athanases, Professor, David and Dolly Fiddyment Chair in Teacher Education, School of Education, University of California, Davis. Opportunity for additional faculty mentorship will be provided.
  • Educational community. Working in a diverse, dynamic School of Education recently emerging as a national voice and site for research, development, and innovation.
  • Publications. The position likely will lead to co-authored presentation and publication opportunities.
  • Leadership. The position will offer many leadership opportunities.
  • Networking. The successful candidate will participate in a newly funded consortium of ten projects in the US, including annual summer meetings and other networking opportunities.
  • The position is for one year, with opportunities to continue in the role an additional 1-2 years, contingent upon successful performance.
  • The successful candidate will be provided with time to conduct independent work and writing on other projects.
  • Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.

Review of applications begins August 14, 2018 and will continue until position is filled. Salary will be commensurate with experience.

The project and the university are committed to equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination for all employees and qualified applicants without regard to a person’s race, color, gender, age, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, or any characteristic protected under applicable law.

Job location

Davis, CA

Learn More

More information about this recruitment:


Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement of Research (Optional)

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity - Diversity contributions documented in the application file will be used to evaluate applicants. Visit for guidelines about writing a diversity statement and why one is requested.

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 required (contact information only)