Algebra students’ learning in secondary mathematics schools is a priority topic in education policy, practice, and research. A major impetus driving my research activities is to address bridge theoretical and practical issues related to how secondary students learn mathematics. I focus on students’ learning of algebra and functions with technology-rich multiple representations (Cartesian graphs, function tables, expressions and equations, dynamic and concrete diagrams). I also explore how to train antiracist educators through inclusive teaching and learning experiences.
Meaningful Mathematics Learning Research Group
The goal of the meaningful math learning research group is to understand and support students’ reasoning with multiple representations of big mathematical ideas including equivalence, equation solving, and functions (Table 1). We investigate constructs of representational fluency, quantitative reasoning, equivalence thinking, and functional thinking. We ask:
- How are students’ reasoning with representations and quantitative reasoning linked?
- What are instructional supports for students’ reasoning with representations of quantitative relationships?
A driving goal of our work is to link research and practice in school algebra through communication, partnership, and design-based implementation research.
Our research is situated in and responsive to the contexts of urban public schools with a focus on issues and ideas that are relevant to secondary school students, teachers, and teacher leaders (Figure 2). Key questions include
- What does it mean to blur the boundaries between research and practice when our goal is to promote equitable learning opportunities for all learners of mathematics?
- How if at all were research-practice connections strengthened in the context of a teacher-researcher collaboration in an era of high-stakes accountability?
Examples of Recent Research
Here is a video capturing some results across three ongoing research projects in an effort to link research and practice.
What is algebra? How do students understand functions? How do young children reason over time?Prof. Nicole Fonger on Bridging Research and Practice in Algebra