Constance Steinkuehler is currently a Senior Policy Analyst at the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President where she advises on policy related to games and learning/impact. She is on leave from her position as an Assistant Professor in the Educational Communications and Technology (ECT) program in the Curriculum & Instruction department at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is a founding fellow of the GLS Initiative and chairs the annual GLS conference held each summer in Madison WI.
Her research on cognition, learning, and literacy in massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) has been funded by funded by the MacArthur Foundation, the Spencer Foundation/National Academies of Education, the Academic ADL Co-Lab, and the UW-Madison Graduate Program and includes such commercial titles as Lineage I, Lineage II, Star Wars Galaxies, World of Warcraft, and RuneScape. Her current work focuses on the potential of virtual worlds to function as sandboxes for the reconstruction (perhaps, reinvigoration) of a new form of twenty-first century citizenship – a “pop cosmopolitanism” marked by the willingness to engage in an increasingly globalized and therefore diverse socio-technical world and the development of intellectual practices crucial to successful navigation within it. Such intellectual practices include informal scientific reasoning, collaborative problem solving, media literacy (defined not just as critical media consumption but also production), computational literacy, and the social learning mechanisms that support the development of such expertise (e.g., reciprocal apprenticeship, collective intelligence).
Constance earned her Ph.D. in Literacy Studies in the Curriculum & Instruction in 2005, her MS degree in Educational Psychology in 2000 and three simultaneous BAs in Mathematics, English, and Religious Studies in 1993. She teaches graduate courses in Research in Online Virtual Worlds, Analyzing Online Social Interaction, Critical Instructional Practices on the Internet, and Gender and Technology, and an undergraduate course in Videogames and Learning. She is the Chair of the AERA SIG “Media, Culture & Curriculum" and serves on the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee on Gaming, Simulations & Education, She is also a member of the editorial board of several journals including the Journal of the Learning Sciences, the International Journal of Games Based Learning, the International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations, and Eludamos: Journal for Computer Game Culture. In 2009, she received the NAED/Spencer Post-Doctoral Fellowship.
She lives in Madison with her husband Kurt Squire, her two sons Walt (4 years old) and Warner (22 months old), their dog Emma, and several fish (and a frog).