College of Education > Faculty and Staff Directory > Dr. Heather Toomey Zimmerman

Dr. Heather Toomey Zimmerman

Dr. Heather Toomey Zimmerman
Phone: 8148672654
Office Address:
305C Keller Building
University Park, PA 16802
Campus: University Park


Associate Professor of Education (LDT)


Learning and Performance Systems


Learning, Design, and Technology

Other Penn State Affiliations

Center for Pollinator Research Center for Human Evolution and Diversity

Areas of Expertise

Age Levels

Early Childhood

Curriculum Areas

Language, Culture, and Society Ed
Science Ed

Individual Difference

Conceptual Change
Family Processes
Human Development
Learning Processes


Equity and Diversity
Learning Sciences

Methodological Research

Discourse Analysis
Interpretive Research
Multiple Methods
Qualitative Research

Courses Taught

LDT 505:  Integrating mobile technologies into learning environments

LDT 574 Qualitative research, part II

LDT 576: Design-based research methodology

LDT 583 Learning sciences seminar (co-taught with Dr. Richard Duschl and Dr. Julia Plummer);

LDT 597: Video research methods in the learning sciences

LDT 597: Informal learning research seminar

Education History

Ph.D. in the Learning Sciences, University of Washington M.A. Museology (Museum Studies), University of Washington B.S. Science Communication, Cornell University

Representative Publications

To download these publications and others, go to: or

Zimmerman, H. T., Land, S. M., McClain, L.R., Mohney, M. R., Choi, G-W., & Salman, F. H. (2015). Tree Investigators: Supporting families and youth to coordinate observations with scientific knowledge. International Journal of Science Education. 5(1), 44-67. 

McClain, L. R., & Zimmerman, H. T. (2014). Prior experiences shaping family science conversations at a nature center. Science Education. 98(6), 1009–1032.

Gamrat, C., Zimmerman, H. T., Dudek, J., & Peck, K. (2014) Personalized workplace learning: A digital badging space for science teacher professional development. British Journal of Educational Technology. 45(6), 1136–1148.

Zimmerman, H. T., & Bell, P. (2014). Where young people see science: Everyday activities connected to science. International Journal of Science Education. 4(1), 25-53.  

Zimmerman, H. T., & McClain, L. R. (2014). Intergenerational learning at a nature center: Families using prior experiences and participation frameworks to understand raptors. Environmental Education Research. 20(2), 177-201.

Zimmerman, H. T., McClain, L. R., & Crowl, M. (2013).  Understanding how families use magnifiers during nature center walks.  Research in Science Education. 43(5), 1917-1938.

Zimmerman, H. T. (2012). Participating in science at home: Recognition work and learning in biology. Journal of Research in Science Teaching. 49(5), 597-630. 

Zimmerman, H. T., Reeve, S., & Bell P. (2010). Family sense-making practices in science center conversations. Science Education. 94 (3), 478-505. DOI: 10.1002/sce.20374.