Tomoko M. Nakajima is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Learning Policy Institute, serving the Whole Child Education and Educator Quality teams. Once a public school educator in Title I schools in the San Francisco Bay Area, her focus now at LPI is research on improving school climates for students and teachers and on teacher residency programs as a strategy for preparing and retaining a diverse workforce of highly qualified educators. As a researcher, Nakajima studies urban Title I schools to holistically report what motivates the teachers who serve them to remain devoted to the work, as well as what alleviates their dissatisfaction and turnover intentions. In her previous appointments, Nakajima has conducted evaluations of equity and inclusion initiatives, examined programs aimed at retaining teachers and administrators of color, and studied community schools as workplaces.
Nakajima graduated with a Ph.D. in Education with an urban schooling emphasis from the University of California, Los Angeles. She received a M.P.A. from Notre Dame de Namur University and a B.M. from Boston University. Nakajima also holds a California state administrative services credential, a single-subject teaching credential, and a bilingual certification (BCLAD) in Spanish.