Sara Donaldson

Assistant Professor of Education


Phone: 508-286-3670


Ed.D., Johns Hopkins University
M.Ed. in Elementary Education, University of New Hampshire
B.A. in Social Work, University of New Hampshire


Sara is co-coordinator of the Early Childhood and Elementary Education programs. She comes from a background of classroom teaching, curriculum development, 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.

Outside of Wheaton, Sara serves on the board of directors for the Rhode Island Mathematics Teacher’s Association, the program committee for the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators, and the Norton STEAM Advisory Council working to expand access to STEM learning in local communities and beyond.


Donaldson, S., Anderson, R.K., Baker, C.K., Troudt, M., & Woods, D.M. (in press). Stuck in Our Whiteness: The Power of Student Feedback for Perspective Taking within Collaborative Self-Study. Philosophy of Mathematics Education.

Woods, D.M., Baker, C.K., Anderson, R.K., Donaldson., S., & Troudt, M. (in press). Seeking to unsettle and break through whiteness: Enacting self-study to engage in antiracist pedagogy as mathematics teacher educators“. In B. Butler, J. Ritter, & A. Cuenca (Eds.) How Teacher Educators Learn: Profiles in Teacher Educator Professional Development. Information Age Publishing Inc.

Donaldson, S. & Karp, K. (2023). Developing cohesion: Collaboratively defining core mathematical practices as professional development.  Investigations in Mathematics Learning, 15(2).

Baker, C. K., Troudt, M., Donaldson, S., Anderson, R., & Woods, D. (2022). Becoming together: Interrogating antiracism in teacher education through critical self-study. In G. Martinez-Alba, L. Herrera, and A. Hersi (Eds.). Antiracist Teacher Education: Counternarratives and Storytelling, Vol. 2. (pp. 1 – 14) Association of Teacher Educators.

Donaldson, S., Yuhaniak, H., Borkoski, C, & Abel, Y. (2022). Promoting transformative learning using critical pedagogy and Moore’s theory of transactional distance. In E. Mikulec, & T. Ramalho (Eds). Enacting critical pedagogy online (pp. 119-140). Peter Lang Publishing.

Borkoski, C., Donaldson, S., & Caldwell, K. (2020). Continuous improvement applied to an online doctoral course: Cultivating a sense of community and scholarly conversation. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 32(1), 5-23

Anderson, R.K., Baker, C.K., Donaldson, S., & Troudt, M.L. (2020). Pursuing anti-racist practice through collaborative noticing and wondering. Connections, 30(2).

Borkoski, C. & Donaldson, S. (2020). Bridging media: Shared referents to connect the unfamiliar to the familiar. The Exchange, 34, 3-6.

Donaldson, S. (2019-2020). Becoming a team: Establishing conditions for critical colleagueship and shared leadership. Tennessee Educational Leadership, 46, 6-13.

Donaldson, S. (2019). A tale of two lessons: Focusing STEM learning on content and empowerment. New England Mathematics Journal, 52(1), 14-20.

Donaldson, S. & Borkoski, C. (2019). 3 C’s for Technology Integration: Coordination, Collaboration and Construction. The Exchange, 32, 6-10.

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.



“The Collective Reflection for Change Framework: Supporting Journeys from Recognizing Positionality to Antiracist Praxis Development”
Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators: Annual Conference

Unsettling Folks to Move Towards Antiracist Praxis through Collaborative Mathematics Teacher Education Self-Study”
Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators: Annual Conference


“Points of Power and Passion: Providing Choice for Learning and Equity”
New England Faculty Development Consortium: Fall Conference

“Un-grading: Pro-Learning”
New England Faculty Development Consortium: Spring Conference


“Community Agreements: Promoting Deep Learning Through Critical Colleagueship Development”
Lily Conference on College and University Teaching
(accepted speaker but did not attend due to pandemic conditions)

“Grand Challenges and Children’s Literature: Promoting Access Through Meaningful Connections”
National Science Teachers Association STEM 21 Virtual Conference

“Number Lines: A Coherent Model for Bridging Number Sense from Whole Numbers to Fractions”
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics: Virtual Annual Meeting

“Teaming Up for Critical Colleagueship: The Value of Norms and Structures”
Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators: Annual Conference


“Encouraging Active Online Engagement” (Invited presentation) Primary Education Winter Meeting


“Using Bridging Media to Build Student Leaders”
New England Faculty Development Consortium: Fall Conference

“Mirrors, Windows, and Doors: Equitable Access through Authentic Problems in Multicultural Literature”
NCTM Regional Conference and Exposition, Boston, MA

“Number Line Use with Fractions”
Rhode Island Mathematics Teachers Association Spring Meeting

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


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

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

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

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

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, mathematics content, and science and mathematics instructional methods.


  • Special Education: PreK-12 (ED 251)
  • Concepts in Mathematics (MATH 133)
  • Teaching Mathematics and Science (ED 385)
  • Seminar in Teaching Methods (ED 495)
  • Student Teaching Practicum (ED 496)

Research Interests

Sara Donaldson’s research builds from findings that critical discourse and shared knowledge development promote learning engagement and outcomes and centers on examining the influence of explicit attention to community building within instructional design (structures, systems, and processes) on learners’ perceptions of belonging, agency, self-efficacy, and ultimately knowledge and skill development. She is committed to using her research to support the empowerment of diverse learners in multiple contexts, including the college classroom, PK-12 public schools, and professional development contexts.





Dolls House 201


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