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Ralph Córdova, Ph.D.

Developer of ResponsiveDesign, a Theory of Inquiry & Innovation


about me.

I enter my 30th year in the profession a deeply-practiced teacher-researcher and leader; a published theorist, and an ethnographic designer of vibrant learning cultures. And still, I know the best is yet to come.

My pedagogical and theoretical perspectives—the ability to build and lead teams to create something altogether transformative and transcendent—have shaped how I got to now. I am the developer of ResponsiveDesign, a theory of inquiry and innovation. 

My intellectual roots are grounded in my growing up teaching as a bilingual elementary teacher in Santa Barbara, CA; shaped by the National Writing Project culture; and sharpened through the process of completing a Ph.D. in Education at the University of California Santa Barbara.


The last three decades has seen me route a journey of learning and discovery as a third grade teacher for 14 years, to a university faculty member for 14 years, then later founding a K-8 public school on transdisciplinary approaches.  My theoretical perspective called Cultural Landscapes is practiced and further developed by my research community called the Cultural Landscapes Collaboratory (CoLab).





curricular vitae:

Published Work.

Co-constructing cultural landscapes for learning in and out of school: The Next Generation Science Standards and Learning Progressions in action. Journal of Cultural Studies in Science Education.

Córdova, R., & Balcerzak, P. (2015)

Nurturing creativity and professional learning for 21st century education: ResponsiveDesign and the Cultural Landscapes Collaboratory. Learning Landscapes, 6(1).157-180.

Córdova, R., Kumpulainen, K., & Hudson, J. (2012)

Sharing vision and transforming practice, in B. Garcia, What we do best: Making the case for the museum learning in its own right. The Journal of Museum Education, 37(2), 47-55.

Murawski, M. & Córdova, R. (2012)

Cultural landscapes for literacies learning: An innovative art museum and teacher-research community partnership. The Missouri Reader, 4(2), 9-28.

Córdova, R. & Murawski, M. (2010)

Reading, writing and mapping our worlds into being: Shared teacher inquiries into whose literacies count. The Reading Teacher, 63(6), 452-463.

Córdova, R., Matthiesen, A. (2010)

Reclaiming and composing our professional lives: A young writing project learns a language of inquiry to establish, thicken and sustain its work. Scholarlypartnershipedu, 4(2), 23-37.

Córdova, R., Hudson, J., Swank, P., Matthiesen, A., & Bertels, M. (2009)

Writing and painting our lives into being: Learning to see learning in the transformative spaces between school and home. Language Arts, 86(1), 18-27.

Córdova, R. (2008)

Piasa Bluffs Writing Project: Juxtaposing cultures, languages, and professional development needs. Illinois English Bulletin, 95(3), 19-26.

Córdova, R. (2008)

Suggestions for further reading on students and teachers as ethnographers. Language Arts, 81(5), 427.

Santa Barbara Classroom Discourse Group: Yeager, B., Córdova, R., Tuyay, S., Green, J., Dixon, C., & Frank, C. (2004).

Reveles, J., Córdova, R., & Kelly, G. (2004). Science literacy and academic identity formulation. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41(10), 1111-1144.

Reveles, J., Córdova, R., & Kelly, G. (2004)

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ResponsiveDesign: Scaling out to transform educational systems, structures and cultures. In Goldman, S & Zabadayo, Z. (Eds.), Taking design thinking to school. Taylor & Francis.

Córdova, R., Taylor, A., Hudson, J., Balcerzak P., Whitacre, M. (in press)

3 durable practices for approaching video as reflective tool: From siloed to connected cultures in educator preparation. In Ortlieb, E, Shanahan, L., & McVee, M. (Eds.), Video research in disciplinary literacies. Bingley, UK: Emerald.

Córdova, R., Taylor, A., Singer, N., Cummings, K., Whiteacre, M., Koscielski, S. (2015)

Using ResponsiveDesign as a shared approach to address the challenge of composing with digital tools. In Anderson, R. S., & Mims, C. (Eds.), Digital tools for writing instruction in K-12 settings: Student perception and experience. I.G.I. Global.

Córdova, R. & Taylor, A., Hudson, J., Sellers, J, Pilgreen, J., & Goetz, D. (2014)

Epistemological issues in the analysis of video records: Interactional Ethnography as a logic of inquiry. In R. Goldman, R. Pea, B. Barron & B. Derry (Eds.), Video Research in The Learning Sciences. Erlbaum Associates.

Green J., Skukauskaite, A., Dixon, C., & Córdova, R. (2007)

How knowledge counts: Families and their lived experiences as resources for academic and social action. In M. Dantas P. Manyak, P. (Eds.), Home-School Connections in a Multicultural Society: Learning from and with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families. Routledge. Pp. 218-236.

Yeager, E. & Córdova, R. (2010)

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book chapters


Tel: 314-621-3784

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