Professor Michelle Ellefson

Professor of Cognitive Science at Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge


Professor of Cognitive Science, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge

Dr. Ellefson is Professor of Cognitive Science with the Faculty of Education. Her work integrates cognition, neuroscience, child development, and education into a multi-disciplinary research programme aimed at improving maths and science education. Using an iterative process, she pairs laboratory-based research with classroom learning to better understand mechanisms responsible for cognitive development and improve educational practice. She studies the role of executive functions in school achievement, she investigates the role of causal reasoning for learning scientific phenomena, and she applies specific cognitive principles to classroom learning (e.g., simplicity and desirable difficulties). Initially trained in developmental cognitive neuroscience, her inter-disciplinary team of students and collaborators includes developmental scientists, cognitive scientists, neuroscientists, educators, chemists, biologists, and physicists.