Skip to content

William Sandoval

Professor Emeritus
William Sandoval

Moore Hall 2327
405 Hilgard Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1521

William Sandoval
Professor Emeritus

My work mainly focuses on processes of scientific explanation and argumentation, as well as organizing science instruction in school so that the science which children learn has value to them outside of school. I am also interested in how situated theories of cognition can describe and explain epistemic cognition (thinking about knowledge and knowing), and in the development of design research methods in education.



  • Professor, Urban Schooling


  • Ph.D., Learning Sciences, Northwestern University
  • B.S., Computer Science, University of New Mexico

Awards, Honors, Fellowships

  • Fellow, International Society of the Learning Sciences
  • Fellow, International Society for Design and Development in Education

Select Publications

Sandoval, W. A. (2012). Situating epistemological development. In J. van Aalst, K. Thompson, M. J. Jacobson & P. Reimann (Eds.), The future of learning: Proceedings of the 10th international conference of the learning sciences (Vol. 1, pp. 347-354). Sydney: International Society of the Learning Sciences.

Ryu, S., & Sandoval, W. A. (2012). Improvements to elementary children’s epistemic understanding from sustained argumentation. Science Education, 96(3), 488-526.

Sandoval, W. A., & Çam, A. (2011). Elementary children’s judgments of the epistemic status of sources of justification. Science Education, 95(3), 383-408.

Sandoval, W. A. & Harven, A. M. (2011). Urban middle school students’ perceptions of the value and difficulty of inquiry. Journal of Science Education & Technology, 20(1), 95-109.

Sandoval, W. A. (2009). In defense of clarity in the study of personal epistemology. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 18(1), 150-161.

Sandoval, W. A., & Millwood, K. A. (2008). What can argumentation tell us about epistemology? In S. Erduran & M. P. Jiménez-Aleixandre (Eds.), Argumentation in science education: perspectives from classroom-based research (pp. 68-85): Springer.

Sandoval, W. A. (2005). Understanding students’ practical epistemologies and their influence on learning through inquiry. Science Education, 89, 634-656.

Sandoval, W. A., & Millwood, K. (2005). The quality of students’ use of evidence in written scientific explanations. Cognition & Instruction, 23(1). 23-55.

Sandoval, W. A. (2004). Developing learning theory by refining conjectures embodied in educational designs. Educational Psychologist, 39(4). 213-223.