Richard Durán
University of California, Santa Barbara
Distinguished Professor

Year Elected


Membership status

Richard Durán is a Professor in the Department of Education at the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, University of California Santa Barbara. His research interests include literacy, learning, and assessment of persons from varied language and cultural backgrounds. He obtained his Ph.D. in Psychology in 1977 from UC Berkeley and worked at ETS (Princeton) for seven years as a Research Scientist where he conducted validity research on the SAT, GRE, and TOEFL tests. After moving to UC Santa Barbara in 1984, he developed a strong interest in how more effective learning experiences and instruction could be designed to align with the figured worlds of culturally and linguistically diverse students, drawing on the work of the cultural historical and Vygotskian-related views of cognitive development and activity theory. His research has investigated how classroom interaction leads to the construction of learning expertise among multilingual students, how teachers design and implement constructivist learning activities for students, and how students' self and social awareness of their performance leads to new notions of assessment involving attention to being and agency. In more recent years, in collaboration with students and colleagues, he is pursuing research on learning in after-school community settings and ubiquitous computing with support from the UC LINKS program. Complementing this work, he has conducted research on immigrant Latinx population development and Latinx parents' engagement with schools. Durán is a Fellow of AERA, a member of the NAEP Validity Studies Panel, and member of various state-level assessment technical advisory groups.

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