Linking Research and Practice

The goal of providing all students access to quality math education requires that teachers and researchers collaborate and engage together as a community. (Fonger, Reiten, Strachota, Ozgur; 2017)

I am committed to the advancement of mathematics education through practices and processes that help establish greater connections between the work of research and the work of teaching and learning. My work focuses on characterizing and supporting meaningful learning mathematics, with an emphasis on students’ meaningful learning of algebra.

Learning to write and writing to learn go hand in hand. In this PPT I draw parallels between writing across the curriculum principles in specific course assignments I’ve given to link research and practice in mathematics education. PDF of presentation given at Writing Across the Curriculum Faculty Fellowship Spotlight February 2020

How can teachers support students' fluency and meaning in solving equations? What role do CAS play in teaching and learning?

CAS (computer algebra systems) are a representational toolkit for creating, interpreting, and connecting graphs, tables, symbols, and more in doing and communicating about mathematics.

PPT of presentation given at USACAS June 2019

Interested in creating visuals of research and practice? Learn to create sketchnotes – a way to synthesize ideas through text and visuals. Some math-ed specific resources are here.

Sketching supports linking research and practice through visual and text-based communication. Can you draw it? Sketchnotes 101.

Curious to learn more?

  • Here is a 1 minute video of interpreting theory for practice.

Fonger Research Brief – IES, 2016-11-21 from WCER on Vimeo.

  • Interested in engaging in research? Check out a recent Mathematics Teacher piece I co-wrote on teachers’ engagement in research Why? How? Now!
  • Or this conference paper I wrote (freely available through ERIC) on How partnerships are core to a linking research and practice agenda.

The goal of providing all students access to quality math education requires that teachers and researchers collaborate and engage together as a community.

Fonger, Reiten, Strachota, Ozgur (2017)

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Fonger, Reiten, Strachota, Ozgur (2017)
  • How can we build bridges between research and practice? My stance is that we build the essential connections through community, collaboration, and communication. Stay tuned for my upcoming talk April 5 at the Tristate Instructors of Mathematics Network at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.
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Community, Collaboration, and Communication are essential aspects of connection
  • Funding agencies asking for this kind of collaborative work in education. Check out the IES Partnership grants, and the William T Grant Foundation programs — one of their main areas of focus is improving the use of research evidence. Reach out via email if you’re interested in joining me in this effort to strengthen connections between research and practice.
Mathematics Education Communities of Practice
How are we engaging at the boundaries of our communities of practice?

At the core, linking research and practice is all about connection. Have a conversation. See where it takes you.

linking research and practice
How an inquiry oriented stance might spark discourse and exchange of ideas
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