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Dr. Kimberly M. Sheridan
EdD, Harvard University
Associate Professor
Educational Psychology

Contact Information

Send email to Dr. Sheridan

Phone: (703) 993-9181
Fax: (703) 993-2013
Email: ksherida (

George Mason University
Fairfax Campus
West Building 2204
4400 University Dr.
MS 6D2
Fairfax, VA 22030


Kimberly Sheridan is an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology.  She is also affiliated with the Learning Technologies and Research Methods programs and holds a joint appointment in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. She received her doctorate in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University Graduate School of Education. She is a co-director of the Mason Arts Research Center (Mason ARC:, a National Endowment for the Arts funded research lab.

Research interests: informal/nonformal education, creativity, design thinking, STEM/STEAM education, arts learning, museum education, sociocultural perspectives

Dr. Sheridan's research takes a sociocultural perspective on learning, with a particular focus on informal education settings such as museums, libraries and community programs.  

Research Interests

Informal learning, learning through making, design-based research, learner agency, methodological tools for studying learner agency, arts learning

Recent Publications

Sheridan,K.M. & Zhang, X.* (2023). A temporal toolkit for analyzing agency in open-ended work.  In Blikstein, P., Van Aalst, J., Kizito, R., & Brennan, K. (Eds.). (2023). Proceedings of the 17th International Conference of the Learning Sciences - ICLS 2023. Montreal, Canada: International Society of the Learning Sciences1466-1470. 

Sheridan, K.M., Veenema, S., Winner, E. & Hetland, L. (2022). Studio thinking 3: The real benefits of visual arts education.  New York: Teachers College Press.

Sheridan, K.M., Zhang, X.* & Konopasky. A.W.* (2022): Strategic shifts: How studio teachers use direction and support to build learner agency in the figured world of visual art, Journal of the Learning Sciences,

Sheridan, K.M. (2020). Constructionism in Studios.  In N.Holder, M.Berland & Y.Kafai (Eds.)Constructionism in Context:  The Art, Theory, and Practice of Learning Designs.  Cambridge, MA:MIT Press.

Hetland, L., Sheridan, K., & Veenema, S. (2020). Beyond the Lab: Influencing Practice and Policy. Empirical Studies of the Arts

Sheridan, K.M. (2019). Artistic development.  In R. Hickman (Ed.) International encyclopedia of art and design education.  Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell

Wingo, G.* & Sheridan, K. M.  (2019). Beyond the Manifestos: Equity and Learning in Makerspaces. In E. Garber, L. Hochtritt, & M. Sharma (Eds.), Makers, crafters, educators: Working for cultural change. (p 77-80). New York, NY: Routledge

Sheridan, K.M. (2017) Design and out of school learning. In K.Peppler (Ed.) The Sage Encyclopedia of out of school learning, Vol 1. (pp. 204-208). Sage: Thousand Oaks, CA.

Sheridan, K.M. (2017) Visual Arts. In K.Peppler (Ed.) The Sage Encyclopedia of out of school learning, Vol 2. (pp. 810-814). Sage: Thousand Oaks, CA.

Sheridan, K. M., Konopasky, A. W.,* Kirkwood, S., & Defeyter, M. A. (2016). The effects of environment and ownership on children’s innovation of tools and tool material selection. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences371(1690), 20150191.

Sheridan, K.M. & Konopasky, A.W.* (2016). Designing for resourcefulness in a community-based makerspace.  In K.Peppler, Y.Kafai & E.R. Halverson (Eds.) Makeology: Makerspaces as learning environments, Vol. 1. (pp. 30-46). Routledge: London.

Konopasky, A. W.,* & Sheridan, K. M. (2016). Towards a Diagnostic Toolkit for the Language of Agency. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 1–16.

Scott, K.,Sheridan, K.M. & Clark, K. (2015). Culturally Responsive Computing: A Theory Revisited.  Learning, Media and Technology, 40(4), 412-436. doi:10.1080/17439884.2014.924966.

Cheema, J.R.* & Sheridan, K. (2015). Time spent on homework, mathematics anxiety and mathematics achievement: Evidence from a US sample. Issues in Educational Research25(3), 246-259.

Sheridan, K. M., Halverson, E.R., Litts, B., Brahms, L., Jacobs-Priebe, L., & Owens, T. *(2014). Learning in the making: A comparative case study of three makerspaces. Harvard Educational Review, 84(4),505-531.

Halverson, E.R. & Sheridan, K.M. (2014). The maker movement in education. Harvard Educational Review, 84(4), 495-504.

Halverson, E.R. & Sheridan, K. M. (2014).  Arts education and the learning sciences.  In R.K. Sawyer (Ed.) Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences (2nd Ed), (pp. 626-646).  Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, ENG.

Sheridan, K. (2014). On the intelligence in children’s making.  In Mind, Work and Life: A Festschrift on the occasion of Howard Gardner’s 70th Birthday: Vol. 2. (p. 277-287).

Sheridan, K. (2014). Permission to wonder: A review of Philip Yenawine’s Visual Thinking Strategies.  Teachers College Record, Date Published: January 31, 2014 ID Number: 17396.

Sheridan, K., Clark, K., & Williams, A. (2013). Designing games, designing roles: A study of youth agency in an informal education program.  Urban Education48(5), 734–758. doi:10.1177/0042085913491220 (pdf)

Hetland, L., Winner, E., Veenema, S., & Sheridan, K. (2013).  Studio thinking 2: The real benefits of visual arts education. (2nd ed.) Teachers College Press: New York.

Zenkov, K. & Sheridan, K. (2012). Artistically asking about school: Picturing city youth as writers, artists, and citizens. In K. Hutzel, F. Bastos, and K. Cosier (Eds.) Urban education with a vision: Art, social justice, and the city as possibility. Teachers College Press: New York.

Sheridan, K. & Gardner, H. (2012). Artistic development: Three essential spheres. In A. Shimamura and S. Palmer (Eds.) Aesthetic Science: Connecting Minds, Brains, and Experience. Oxford University Press.

Khalili, N., Sheridan, K., Williams, A.*, Clark, K., and Stegman, M. (2011). Students designing video games about immunology: Insights for science learning. Computers in the Schools. 28(3), pp. 228-240.

Sheridan, K. (2011). Envision and observe: Using the Studio Thinking Framework for learning and teaching in the digital arts. Mind, Brain and Education. 5(1), pp. 19-26.

Sheridan, K., & Clark, K. (2010). Designing game design studios: Strategies to sustain intrinsic motivation. In Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2010 (pp. 2911-2920). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Khalili, N.*, Williams, A.*, Stegman, M., Clark, K. & Sheridan, K. (2010). Integrating Science Content into Video Game Design. In Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2010 (pp. 2760-2764). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Clark, K. & Sheridan, K. (2010). Game design through mentoring and collaboration. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia. 19(2), pp. 125-145. (pdf)

Scott, K.A., Clark, K., Hayes, E., Mruczek, C. & Sheridan, K. (2010). Culturally Relevant Computing Programs: Two examples to Inform Teacher Professional Development. In D. Gibson & B. Dodge (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2010 (pp. 1269-1277). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Scott, K.A., Clark, K., Sheridan, K., Hayes, E. & Mruczek, C. (2010). Engaging More Students from Underrepresented Groups In Technology: What Happens if We Dont?. In D. Gibson & B. Dodge (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2010 (pp. 4097-4104). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Sheridan, K., Clark, K. & Peters, E. (2009). How scientific inquiry emerges from game design.  In C. Crawford et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference 2009 (pp. 1555-1563).Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Sheridan, K. (2009). Studio thinking in early childhood. In M.J. Narey (Ed). Making meaning: Constructing multimodal perspectives of language, literacy, and learning through arts-based early childhood education.Springer: New York.

Sheridan, K. (2008). Reading, writing and watching: The informal education of film fans. In J. Flood, D. Lapp, and S.B. Heath (Eds.) Handbook on Teaching Literacy through the Communicative, Visual and Performing Arts. (2nd ed.) Lawrence Erlbaum: Mahwah, NJ.* Updated and Reprinted in 2015

Hetland, L.,Winner, E., Veenema, S., & Sheridan, K. (2007). Studio thinking: The real benefits of visual arts education. Teachers College Press: New York.

Keinanen, M., Sheridan, K. & Gardner, H. (2006). Opening up creativity: The lenses of axis and focus. In J. Kaufman and J. Baer (Eds.) Creativity and Reason in Cognitive Development. Cambridge University Press: New York. *First authorship is shared.

Winner, E., Hetland, L., Veenema, S., Sheridan, K., & Palmer, P. (2006). Studio thinking: How visual arts teaching can promote disciplined habits of mind. In P. Locher, C. Martindale, L. Dorfman, & D. Leontiev (Eds.), New Directions in Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts (189-205). Amityville, New York: Baywood Publishing Company,

Sheridan, K., Zinchenko, E. & Gardner, H. (2005). Neuroethics in education. In J.Illes (Ed) Neuroethics in the 21st Century: Defining the Issues in Theory, Practice and Policy, J. Illes (Ed.) Oxford University Press: Oxford.

Connell, M. W., Sheridan, K. & Gardner, H. (2003). On abilities and domains. In R. Sternberg (Ed) Psychology of abilities, competencies and expertise. Cambridge University Press: New York (pp. 126-155)

Other Information

Research on children's innovation of tools cited in Scientific American:

Making Connections Work: IMLS Stem ex grant 2017-2019

Learning in the Making: NSF Cyberlearning grant 2012-2016, with Dr. Erica Halverson

Game Design through Mentoring and Collaboration

Studio Thinking