Skip to main content

Jess Gropen

Senior Research Scientist
Photo of Jess Gropen

Dr. Jess Gropen’s research on executive function and conceptual change not only contributes to contemporary research in cognitive science on the development of mathematical and scientific thinking in early childhood, but also offers effective strategies to close STEM learning opportunity gaps for children from low-income communities. His current interests also include research on supporting dual language learners and issues of motivation and self-regulation in students of all ages.

Jess brings to his work at CAST experience in basic and applied cognitive science with a focus on language learning, early science development, and mathematics education. He also has extensive experience as a methodologist, including multilevel and structural equation modeling, and has led many projects aimed at supporting teacher professional development. He especially enjoys translating basic research findings in cognitive science to research and applications in early childhood education.

Before joining CAST, Dr. Gropen was a Senior Cognitive Scientist at Education Development Center, specializing in early science learning and teacher professional development. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at McGill University and Simmons College.


Ph.D., MIT, Cognitive Science
B.A., Pomona College, Language & Mind

Selected Publications

Gropen, J., Kook, J. F., Hoisington, C., & Clark-Chiarelli, N. (2017). Foundations of Science Literacy: Efficacy of a Preschool Professional Development Program in Science on Classroom Instruction, Teachers’ Pedagogical Content Knowledge, and Children’s Observations and Predictions. Early Education and Development, 0(0), 1–25.

Gropen, J., Clark-Chiarelli, N., Hoisington, C., & Ehrlich, S. (2011). The importance of executive function in early science education. Child Development Perspectives5(4), 298–304.

Selected Presentations

Gropen, J., and Bourassa, J. (2016, May 24). Supporting STEM Learning for Young Children. Paper presented at Building Bridges between Research and Practice: Supporting Early Childhood Education in Connecticut, Partnership for Early Education Research (PEER) Conference. Bridgeport, CT. 

Gropen, J., Cuoco, A., Arthur, A., Gates, M., McLeod, M., Wedow, M. (2013, September). Measuring the Use of Algebraic Habits of Mind. Presented at the Fall 2013 Institute of Education Sciences, Principal Investigator Meeting, Washington, D.C.

Top of Page