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I help teachers facilitate quality discussions in the classroom.

I wrestle with how to solve the problem of discussion in the classroom in research and in practice. Plenty of evidence supports the implementation of high-quality discussions in the classroom, but they're challenging to facilitate. That's where I step in. I help teachers make discussions work.

I am a compassionate educator and researcher who is committed to not only translating current work in the science of learning for educators, but also translating insights from educators and diverse and complex school contexts for researchers.


Previously, I was the Director of the Teachers College, Columbia University, Education for Thinking Debate-And-Decision-Making Workshops for Young Teens. I was the first to design and develop the award-winning online format, spearheading innovative efforts that best support peer discussion.

Prior to that, I built "hands-on, minds-on" early childhood science curricula for the Academy of Natural Sciences educational programs to bring about deeper learning, and conducted user research for The Franklin Institute.

Outside of work, I put the science of learning in the hands of educators. I have spoken about the importance of high quality dialog in the classroom internationally, advise administrators, teachers, scientists, and policy makers on effective classroom practices and standards, and publish scholarly works.

My research on the development of argumentation and argumentive writing and its importance in the classroom has received awards from the International Society of the Learning Sciences and the Network of Academic Programs in the Learning Sciences. My humanitarian contributions in teaching, scholarship, and service has been recognized with the Marlene S. Korn Humanitarian Award.

I hold a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Dickinson College, an M.Ed. in Educational Psychology from Temple University, a Ph.D. in Cognitive Studies in Education (M. Phil. in Cognitive Science) from Teachers College, Columbia University.

I am the author of publications in top academic journals. My most recent book chapter, From Talk to Text: Implementing Student Discussions that Matter, was published in November 2022.

Some of my papers are featured below. All of my papers are publicly available on Google Scholar and Research Gate.

What we learned from Covid-19 about discourse-based learning

What we learned from Covid-19 about discourse-based learning

Special Issue on Interpersonal Argument in Learning, Culture and Social Interaction


How might argumentation research inform discourse- based social studies education_.jpg

How might argumentation research inform discourse-based social studies education?

Issue on Social Studies Education

How does discourse among like-minded individuals affect their thinking about a complex iss

How does discourse among like-minded individuals affect their thinking about a complex issue?

Special issue on Thinking and Reasoning





"It was a great pleasure to get to know Mariel and work with her. She did an excellent job fielding many challenging questions. Her work is very important for the field."

- Dr. Joan Lucariello, Professor of Educational Psychology and Psychology at CUNY


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