Rachel Gaines

Professor HeadshotWelcome to my faculty page! I am Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology in the Department of Secondary and Middle Grades Education at the Bagwell College of Education.

Before I started working at Kennesaw State University, I taught middle school English/language arts in eastern Massachusetts from 2007-2013. I loved my work, but like so many early-career teachers, I suffered from burnout (see Ghanizadeh & Jahedizadeh, 2015 for one recent review) and ended up leaving the classroom. However, I knew I could never leave education. Instead, I packed up and moved to Texas, where I earned my Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2018.

Although everyone knows what education is, and most people have a general sense of psychologyeducational psychology is a lesser known discipline. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), educational psychologists "apply psychological science to improve the learning process and promote educational success for all students." In my case, that means:

  • Teaching graduate courses on topics including assessment/evaluation, motivation, neuroscience, and critical thinking (among others) to Georgia educators.
  • Conducting research on various factors that have been linked to teacher turnover.
  • Conducting research on preservice and inservice teacher education in order to determine which methods, structures, and approaches are effective for which teachers in which contexts.
  • And much, much more!