I teach courses in mathematics education for prospective elementary and secondary teachers, as well as courses for doctoral students preparing to do research mathematics education. My research interests include K-12 students’ construction of quantitative and algebraic reasoning, with a particular focus on how middle school students construct rational number knowledge and algebraic reasoning. I also currently study how to differentiate mathematics instruction for middle school students in a large project (see below). Finally, I have significant interests in how student-teacher relationships influence mathematical teaching and learning and in issues of equity.
I am now in my fifth but not final year of the NSF-funded project “Investigating Differentiated Instruction and Relationships between Rational Number Knowledge and Algebraic Reasoning in Middle School” (IDReAM). The research goals of this project are to investigate how to differentiate mathematics instruction for middle school students at three different levels of multiplicative reasoning and to understand how students’ rational number knowledge and algebraic reasoning are related. In years 3-6 I am co-teaching units with classroom teachers to investigate how to differentiate instruction in classrooms and to study how teachers learn to differentiate instruction. The educational goals of this project are to enhance the abilities of prospective and practicing teachers to teach cognitively diverse students, to improve doctoral students’ understanding of relationships between students’ learning and teachers’ practice, and to form a community of mathematics teachers committed to on-going professional learning about how to effectively differentiate instruction.
How I got to this place: Right after college I taught for three years at Marlborough School in Los Angeles, a private school for girls in grades 7-12. Although I had gone to public schools myself, at that point I was not certified to teach public school. I started teaching one week after graduation: It was an eye-opening experience! I taught primarily 7th through 9th graders. Highlights from my experiences there include working with dynamic colleagues and students; designing a geometry course using the Geometric Supposer (old-fashioned now!); participating in Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity workshops; and being team leader for the 9th grade.
After earning an M.A.T. in mathematics education at University of Chicago and becoming certified to teach public school, I taught for six years at Glenbrook South High School (GBS) in Glenview, Illinois. I taught 9th through 12th graders, but my special love were geometry classes, which were mostly populated by 10th graders. Highlights from my experiences there include interacting with more terrific colleagues and students, co-designing a geometry course using The Geometer’s Sketchpad, teaching an interdisciplinary math and science course with a science teacher and special education teacher, and co-directing a student-written performance group.
During my doctoral program in mathematics education at the University of Georgia (UGA) I worked with elementary teachers in a professional development project and did research with 6th grade students. Then I was a faculty member in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Portland State University, prior to coming to Indiana University in the fall of 2007.