Megan Silander

research scientist
tel: 212-807-4219

Dr. Megan Silander conducts research that generates new insights into effective preK–12 education policies and programs. Her research interests include school and instructional improvement, accountability and data use in schools, and out-of-school–time learning. Her current research focuses on the use of digital tools and media to increase capacity to support children's learning, both in and out of school. One strand of this work focuses on under-resourced families’ use of media and technology to support their children’s learning in the home. A second strand focuses on effective means of incorporating digital tools into instruction to improve student learning. Megan brings to CCT her experience with quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, experimental and quasi-experimental methods, and the analysis of extant and district administrative data.

Megan is the co-Principal Investigator of three National Science Foundation-funded initiatives: Bringing Science Home with PEEP, a project that will collaboratively develop and investigate a new intervention designed to engage families with preschool-age children in science through joint media engagement and home visiting programs; Zoom In! Learning Science with Data, a project that will design, develop, and test digital curricula and tools that build high school students’ skills in using data to investigate and explain significant problems in biology and earth science;and Digital Games as Analogical Sources for Science Learning, a study of how specific features of digital gameplay and subsequent instruction for middle-grade science learning can support consolidation and transfer of conceptual understanding beyond the game world. Megan also conducts research on Ready To Learn, a U.S. Department of Education-supported initiative led by PBS and CPB that EDC has studied for a decade and that has produced new findings on how to use media resources to improve the school readiness of preschool children in low-income communities.

Megan holds a PhD in education policy from Teachers College, Columbia University; an EdM in international education policy from Harvard Graduate School of Education; and a BA in linguistics from Pomona College. Prior to joining CCT, she conducted research at the Consortium for Policy Research in Education at Teachers College, and served as a policy advisor for a member of the Los Angeles Board of Education.





Silander, M. & Mohrbacher, G. (2019). Preschool science at home: PEEP Family Science apps help low-income families engage in digital learning

The Joan Ganz Cooney Center.

Martin, W., Silander, M., & Rutter, S. (2019). Digital games as sources for science analogies: Learning about energy through play.

Computers and Education, 130, 1–12.

Goldstein, M., Christensen, C., Gerard, S. N., & Silander, M. (Dec 2018). Science takes center stage: Design principles to support young children’s science learning with media.

In S. Pasnik (Ed.), Getting Ready to Learn: Creating Effective, Educational Children’s Media. New York: Routledge.

Silander, M., Grindal, T., Hupert, N., Garcia, E., Anderson, K., Vahey, P. & Pasnik, S. (2018). What Parents Talk About When They Talk About Learning: A National Survey About Young Children and Science.

New York, NY, & Menlo Park, CA: Education Development Center, Inc., & SRI International.

Martin, W., Pasquale, M., & Silander, M. (2018). Mapping digital game analogies to science instruction.

Science Scope, 41(7), 88–95.