New equation for math teachers

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Dr. Marta Magiera received a $792,000 Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation. The award supports research into ways to build a knowledge foundation in mathematics teacher preparation, specifically focusing on mathematical argumentation. Magiera, assistant professor of mathematics, statistics and computer science in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, won the competitive five-year award that honors junior faculty who exemplify the role of the teacher-scholar through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

“The award is the gold standard for recognizing and supporting young scholars who are able to integrate excellence in research and education in science and engineering disciplines,” says Dr. Jeanne Hossenlopp, vice provost for research and dean of the Graduate School.

Magiera’s research will contribute to the knowledge base that teacher education programs need to prepare elementary and middle school teachers for how to make reasoning and proof an integral aspect of mathematics instruction. She will investigate three complementary dimensions that address the ability to formulate mathematical arguments. The grant will also give Marquette students an opportunity to engage in mathematics education research.

“Many reforms are related to STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — education, but we can’t reform without focusing on our teachers,” Magiera says. “The lessons we put into the hands of students will only work if we emphasize the teaching methods. This significant grant will allow us to look at the entire educational experience in teacher preparation programs. We will be able to better understand the best ways of helping pre-service teachers become effective in developing mathematical reasoning skills in their future students and learning mathematics with understanding.” • BD

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