Sofia Tancredi

Photograph of a light-skinned woman with long brown hair smiling broadly.

Research interests: sensory regulation, fidgeting and stimming, neurodiversity, movement and learning, embodied cognition, individual differences, sensory experience of learners on the autism spectrum and learners with ADHD, holistic education, accessibility, Universal Design for Learning, design-based research, multimodal learning analytics.

I study the impact of sensory features of instruction on learning. My focus is on individual differences in sensory systems like the vestibular (balance and orientation) system, and accessibility for learners who for example might need a greater amount of stimulation to this system. This work is inspired by my career working with K-12 learners, particularly students identified as having challenges with learning, attention, and behavior in typical classroom contexts. I am a doctoral candidate in the joint doctoral program in Special Education at UC Berkeley and San Francisco State University and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program fellow.

Active lab projects: Balance Board Math, SpEED

Contact: sofiatancredi (at) berkeley (dot) edu,


Abrahamson, D., Tancredi, S., Chen, R. S. Y., Flood, V. J., & Dutton, E. (in press). Embodied design of digital resources for mathematics education: Theory, methodology, and framework of a pedagogical research program. In B. Pepin, G. Gueude, & J. Choppin (Eds.), Handbook of digital (curriculum) resources in mathematics education. Springer.

Tancredi, S., Wang, J. X., Li, H. L., Yao, C. J., Macfarlan, G. L., & Ryokai, K. (2022). Balance Board Math: “Being the graph” through the sense of balance for embodied self-regulation and learning. In M. Horn, M. Giannakos, & T. Pontual (Eds.), Proceedings of IDC ’22: Interaction Design and Children (Vol. “Full papers”, pp. 137–149).

Lambert, S. G., Tancredi, S., Fiedler, B. L., Moore, E. B., Gorlewicz, J. L., Abrahamson, D., & Gomez Paloma, F. (2022). Getting a grip on geometry: Developing a tangible manipulative for inclusive quadrilateral learning. Italian Journal of Health Education, Sports and Inclusive Didactics, 6(1), 1–21.

Tancredi, S., Wang, J., Helen Tong Li, Yao, C. J., Ryokai, K., & Abrahamson, D. (2022). Graphing with Balance Board Math: Critical embodied design for regulation and learning. In C. Chinn, E. Tan, C. Chan, & Y. Kali (Eds.), “International collaboration toward educational innovation for all: Overarching research, development, and practices”—Proceedings of the 16th annual meeting of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2022), Hiroshima, Japan (online) (pp. 1181-1184). ISLS.

Tancredi, S., Abdu, R., Balasubramaniam, R., & Abrahamson, D. (in press). Intermodality in multimodal learning analytics for cognitive theory development: A case from embodied design for mathematics learning. In M. Giannakos, D. Spikol, D. Di Mitri, K. Sharma, X. Ochoa, & R. Hammad (Eds.), Multimodal learning analytics. Springer.

Tancredi, S., Chen, R. S. Y., Krause, C. M., & Siu, Y.–T. (2022). The need for SpEED: Reimagining accessibility through Special Education Embodied Design. In S. L. Macrine & J. M. B. Fugate (Eds.), Movement matters: How embodied cognition informs teaching and learning (pp. 197–216).  M.I.T. Press.

Tancredi, S., Abdu, R., Abrahamson, D., & Balasubramaniam, R. (2021, 2021/04/03/). Modeling nonlinear dynamics of fluency development in an embodied-design mathematics learning environment with Recurrence Quantification Analysis. International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction, 100297.

Tancredi, S., Chen, R. S. Y., Krause, C., Abrahamson, D., & Gomez Paloma, F. (2021). Getting up to SpEED: Special Education Embodied Design for Sensorially Equitable Inclusion. Education Sciences & Society – Open Access12(1), 114–136.

Tancredi, S., Abdu, R., Balasubramaniam, R., & Abrahamson, D. (2021). Proof of concept: Applying Recurrence Quantification Analysis to model fluency in a math embodied design. In E. de Vries, J. Ahn, & Y. Hod (Eds.), Proceedings of the15th International Conference of the Learning Sciences – ICLS 2021 (pp. 917–919). Bochum, Germany: International Society of the Learning Sciences.

Burgstahler, S., & Thompson, T. (Eds). (2019). Designing accessible cyberlearning: Current state and pathway forward. Seattle: University of Washington.

Select Presentations:

Tancredi, S., Li, H. T., Wang J.X., Liu, Y., & Serrano Rodriguez, J. S. (forthcoming). Beyond ‘just sitting there’: Function addition through collaborative balance sensory activity with Balance Board Math (Poster presentation). AERA 2023, Chicago, IL.

Lambert, S. G., Tancredi, S., Fiedler, B. L., Gorlewicz, J. L., Abrahamson, D. (2022, April). Building the Quad: A tangible manipulative for inclusive geometry learning. In F. C. Peluso (Chair), The 2nd International Conference on Research on Educational Neuroscience: School, Sports, & Society (REN). Rome, Italy, April 1.

Krause, C.M., Chen, R. S. Y., Tancredi, S., Cooper, B., Foley, E., Anton, J., Kim, J., & Abrahamson, D. (2021, October). Catching up with SpEED: Applying a framework for inclusive equitable learning opportunities through Special Education Embodied Design. Invited workshop, Unimc for Inclusion Settimana dell’inclusione (Inclusion Week), University of Macerata, Italy, October 25, 2021.

Krause, C. M., Tancredi, S., Chen, R. S. Y. (2021, July). Time for SpEED: Ansätze für inklusiv-gleichberechtigte Lerngelegenheiten durch Special Education Embodied Design. (Time for SpEED: Reimagining equitable learning opportunities through Special Education Embodied Design). Invited colloquium presentation, Thursday colloquium of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Educational Research, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.

Tancredi, S., Chen, R. S. Y., & Krause, C. (2021, May 6-9). SpEEDing towards equitable instruction: Special Education Embodied Design for sensory diversity (Panel). Uncommon Senses III: Back to the Future of the Senses, Montreal, Canada.

Tancredi, S. (2020, October 9). The Balance Number Line: Incorporating Vestibular Activation into Math InstructionBNL_STARFall2020Poster. Poster presented at STAR Sensory Symposium, Virtual Symposium.

Tancredi, S., Chen, R. S. Y., & Krause, C. (2020, February 2). The need for SpEED: Special Education Embodied Design. Presentation and panel presented at UC-SpEDDR, UCLA.

Chen, R. S. Y. & Tancredi, S. Centering disability and neurodiversity in embodied design. Presentation at the EMIC Synthesis and Design Workshop: The Future of Embodied Design for Mathematical Imagination and Cognition,  University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Tancredi, S. (2019, January). Sensory regulation and embodied design. Presentation at AccessCyberlearning Capacity Building Institute, University of Washington, Seattle.