Colin Ackerman, PhD


Colin Ackerman, Ph.D., is an experienced researcher, teacher, and evaluator obsessed with exploring practical ways to innovate and integrate Social Emotional Learning into K12 education. Connecting research- and evidence-based principles to feasible instructional practice drives his passion for this work.

Before shifting into independent consulting, Colin was a researcher at the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). Much of his work at CASEL contributed to developing the concept of transformative SEL (SEL in service of equity). He worked on the Research-Practice Partnership team, contributing to and leading co-created research projects with education practitioners and policymakers at the school, district, and state levels. Additionally, Colin worked on CASEL’s Program Guide team, thoroughly reviewing submitted SEL curricula and determining if they meet the rigorous standards for evidence of effectiveness and design for inclusion in CASEL’s Guide for Effective Social Emotional Learning Programs.

Colin began his career as a Kindergarten teacher in Nashville, TN, and then decided to pursue a career in research. While earning his doctorate, Colin explored technology implementation in K12 classrooms through the lens of developing democratic values (e.g., collaboration, critical thinking, responsible dissent) for the 21st Century. Colin holds a B.A. in Mass Communication from Miami University, an M.Ed in Curriculum & Instruction from Lipscomb University, and a Ph.D. in Digital Media Studies from the University of Colorado, Boulder.