Sara Donaldson

Assistant Professor of Education






Doll's House 201

Tuesdays 11:15-12:15; Thursdays and Fridays by appointment

(508) 286-3670


Sara is a new member of the education department who comes from a background of classroom teaching, mentoring, and instructional coaching in public schools throughout New England. As a professional development consultant, online course instructor, and clinical educator Sara has also worked with pre-service and practicing educators for over a decade developing their ability to promote equitable access to high-quality STEM learning opportunities in their classrooms.

Sara serves on the board of directors for the Rhode Island Mathematics Teacher’s Association and the education committees at both the Herreshoff Marine Museum and Sail Newport working to expand access to STEM learning in local communities throughout her home state.


Ed.D., Johns Hopkins University

M.Ed. in Elementary Education, University of New Hampshire

B.A. in Social Work, University of New Hampshire

Research Interests

Sara Donaldson’s research interests include promoting critical colleagueship among mathematics educators as a sustainable source of ongoing professional learning and the development of positive collective efficacy for teaching perceptions and supporting educators’ ability to promote equitable access to high-quality, meaningful STEM, mathematics, and science learning opportunities for diverse students. She is committed to using her experience as a former elementary and middle school public school teacher to drive her research into the systems and cultures that promote ongoing professional learning and efficacy, a key foundation for student learning success.

Ed.D. Specialization: Instructional Design for Online Teaching and Learning

Dissertation Title: “A Mixed Methods Study of Critical Colleagueship as Sustainable Support for Elementary Mathematics Leaders”

Teaching Interests

A former elementary and middle school teacher Sara Donaldson co-coordinates Wheaton’s Early Childhood and Elementary Education program. She advises early childhood and elementary education licensure candidates and teaches courses in special education and science and mathematics instructional methods.


  • Special Education: PreK-12 (ED 251)
  • Teaching Mathematics and Science (ED 385)
  • Seminar in Teaching Methods (ED 495)
  • Student Teaching Practicum (ED 496)


Yuhaniak, H., Donaldson, S., Borkoski, C., & Abel, Y. (in press). Promoting transformative learning using critical pedagogy and Moore’s theory of transactional distance. In E. Mikulec & T. Ramalho (Eds.). Best Practices in Teaching Critical Pedagogy Online. La Vergne, TN: Do It Ourselves Press.

Donaldson, S. & Borkoski, C. (in press). 3 C’s for Technology Integration: Coordination, Collaboration and Construction. The Exchange.

Donaldson, S., Caldwell, K., & Borkoski, C. (2018). Connected: Building meaningful relationships for online learning. The Exchange, 31, 9-12.

Donaldson, S. (2017). Critical colleagueship: Teaming up for professional growth. New England Mathematics Journal, L(2), 19-29.

Manuscripts Reviewed

Bush, S.B. & Cook, K.L. (in press). Step into STEAM: Your Standards-Based Action Plan for Deepening Mathematics and Science Learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.



“Number Line Use with Fractions” (Rhode Island Mathematics Teachers Association Spring Meeting, 2019)

“Why Tricks Are Not for Kids: Uncovering Rules that Expire and Their Impact on Learners” (Rhode Island Mathematics Teachers Association Spring Meeting, 2019)

“Leveraging Technologies for Deeper Knowledge Construction” (New England Faculty Development Consortium: Fall Conference, 2018)

“Supporting Academic Literacy for All: Developing Students’ Ability Read, Write, Listen, Speak, and Think Like Mathematicians” (Association of Mathematics Teachers New England Fall Conference, 2018)

“Strategies for Building Meaningful Student-faculty Relationships to Increase Online Engagement” (New England Faculty Development Consortium: Spring Conference, 2018)

“Connected: Building Community and Engaging in Authentic Learning in Higher Education” (Lilly Conference-Bethesda: Designing Effective Teaching, 2018).

“Fraction Operations in the Common Core” (Rhode Island Mathematics Teachers Association’s Spring Rhode Show, 2013)

Grant work

“PRIME-ELL”: Rhode Island Department of Education funded collaborative   grant between Roger Williams University and the Providence, RI Public Schools, working to develop urban educators’ capacity to support ELL students in mathematics education.

“Encore Mathematics Program”: Math-Science Partnership (MSP) funded collaborative grant between Roger Williams University and the Providence, RI Public Schools, working to support mathematics content and pedagogical knowledge and skills of teachers and instructional coaches in grades 3-5.