Skip to main content Skip utility section

Learning Systems Institute

Innovating Learning

Skip navigation

Back to Who We Are

Colleen Ganley, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Developmental Psychology

Colleen Ganley, Ph.D., is a faculty member with LSI’s Florida Center for Research in STEM (FCR-STEM) and holds a joint appointment in the Psychology Department as an associate professor of developmental psychology.

Her research interests involve understanding the social, cognitive, and affective factors related to math learning and achievement with a specific interest in individual differences related to gender and income level. She has investigated factors such as teacher biases, stereotype threat, anxiety, working memory, and spatial skills as potential malleable factors that may be related to gender and income-level differences in mathematics achievement.
Dr. Ganley is especially interested in student learning in areas of mathematics that require spatial thinking (i.e., geometry and measurement). She also explores factors related to gender differences in adolescents’ math- and science-related career choices.

Dr. Ganley is currently principal investigator for the NSF-funded Shape of Educational Data project, conducting exploratory interdisciplinary research applying advanced topological methods to analyze the shape of data generated by students taking mathematics courses via massive open online course (MOOC) systems. In this project, she and her collaborators are working to best understand the psychological factors that predict both how students navigate through the materials in online Calculus courses as well as how well they perform in the courses.

As part of the FCR-STEMLearn: Foundations for Success in STEM project, Dr. Ganley is leading the development of a measure of teacher math anxiety and investigating the correlates of teacher math anxiety.


Institute of Education Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Math Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011-2013

Ph.D. in Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology, Boston College, 2011

B.A., Psychology, Wheaton College, 2006


  • Shape of Educational Data, National Science Foundation, $189,446, Principal Investigator


  • Purpura, D. J., & Ganley, C. M. (2014). Working memory and language: Skill specific or domain general relations to mathematics? Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 122, 104-121.

  • Robinson-Cimpian, J. P., Lubienski, S. T., Ganley, C. M., & Copur-Gencturk, Y. (2014). Teachers’ gender-stereotypical ratings of mathematics proficiency may exacerbate early gender achievement gaps. Developmental Psychology, 50(4), 1262-1281.

  • Robinson-Cimpian, J. P., Lubienski, S. T., Ganley, C. M., & Copur-Gencturk, Y. (2014). Are schools shortchanging boys or girls? The answer rests on methods and assumptions: Reply to Card (2014) and Penner (2014). Developmental Psychology, 50(6), 1840-1844.