Eben B. Witherspoon
Eben Witherspoon is an education researcher in the Human Services division at AIR, with expertise in research design, quantitative analysis, and educational psychology. His work focuses on understanding students’ experiences in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) classrooms and career pathways, with an emphasis on broadening participation in those fields. Dr. Witherspoon currently serves as co-principal investigator on an NSF-funded meta-analysis of interventions to improve undergraduates' STEM motivation and retention and an IES-funded partnership investigating the integration of computational thinking in middle school mathematics classrooms. He also supports several projects examining the impact of professional development and classroom practices in student persistence in STEM, and evaluating the implementation of educational technologies that seek to teach core concepts in science and mathematics through the integration of computational thinking and computer science instruction.
Prior to joining AIR, Dr. Witherspoon was a secondary mathematics teacher, an analyst for the College Transition Collaborative and the SEISMIC Project, and a postdoctoral scholar at the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh. He has extensive experience and expertise in analyzing large, multi-institutional administrative datasets; developing, collecting, and analyzing survey data; designing and evaluating K-12 curricula and professional development programs; conducting classroom observations; qualitative coding and mixed-methods analysis of instructional coaching; and a variety of experimental and quasi-experimental research methodologies.
Dr. Witherspoon's work has been featured in leading academic journals such as Education Researcher, Science Education, and Social Psychological and Personality Science, and has been covered by media outlets such as The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed. He holds a Ph.D. in the learning sciences from the University of Pittsburgh, where his dissertation research on gender bias in pre-medical science courses earned national recognition.
Ph.D., Learning Sciences and Policy, University of Pittsburgh