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Learning Mathematics for Teaching Project
People
Deborah Loewenberg Ball
is William H. Payne Collegiate Professor and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, and Dean of the School of Education, at the University of Michigan. Ball’s work draws on her many years of experience as an elementary classroom teacher and teacher educator. Her research focuses on mathematics instruction, and on interventions designed to improve its quality and effectiveness. Her research groups study the nature of the mathematical knowledge needed for teaching and develop survey measures that have made possible analyses of the relations among teachers’ mathematical knowledge; the quality of their teaching; and their students’ performance. Of particular interest in this research is instructional practice that can intervene on significant patterns of educational inequality in mathematics education. In addition, she and her group develop and study opportunities for teachers’ learning.

Hyman Bass
is the Samuel Eilenberg Distinguished University Professor of Mathematics and Mathematics Education at the University of Michigan. His mathematical research publications cover broad areas of algebra, with connections to geometry, topology and number theory. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Bass was president of the American Mathematical Society, and of the International Commission on Mathematics Instruction. He has been collaborating with Deborah Ball and her research group at the University of Michigan, since 1997, on the mathematical knowledge and resources entailed in the teaching of mathematics at the elementary level. He is particularly interested in the teaching and learning of mathematical proof and proving in the early grades.

Merrie L. Blunk
is an educational psychologist and researcher at The University of Michigan. Her research interests include student learning as well as teacher pre-service and professional development. Her most recent research work has been in the position of Project Manager for the Learning Mathematics for Teaching Project with Heather Hill and Deborah Ball and as Project Manager for the Designing an Integrated Assessment System with Pamelas Moss. She previously worked with Magdalene Lampert and Deborah Ball on the MaTH Project and the MTLT Project. Blunk has also co-edited a book, Talking Mathematics in School, with Magdalene Lampert. Blunk has also taught educational psychology to both elementary and secondary education majors, as well as teaching mathematics methods to Master's students at the University of Michigan.

Yaa Cole
is a graduate student in mathematics education at the University of Michigan. She received her Bachelor’s degree in mathematics education at the University of Cape-Coast in Ghana and her master’s degree at the University of Vermont. Upon completion of her master’s degree she worked for four years as the Program Manager and Field Mentor for the Vermont Mathematics Initiative at the University of Vermont. In that position, she worked with elementary school teachers enrolled in a masters level program and provided guidance as they translated their new mathematics learning into good teaching practices. Her current research interests include the study of mathematical knowledge and skills needed for teaching at the elementary level, the preparation of pre-service mathematics teachers, teacher knowledge, and the professional development of elementary mathematics teachers.

Seán Delaney
graduated from the University of Michigan in 2008 with a PhD in Teaching and Teacher Education. He currently works as a mathematics educator in the Marino Institute of Education in Dublin, Ireland. Previously he taught elementary school for 11 years in Ireland (Kilkenny and Dublin). He received his Masters Degree in Education in 1999 from Harvard University. His current research interests are in mathematical knowledge for teaching, the teaching of mathematics at elementary school level, mathematics textbooks and approaches to teacher education.

Heather C. Hill

is an associate professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her primary work focuses on developing measures of mathematical knowledge for teaching and the mathematical quality of teaching, and using these measures to evaluate public policies and programs intended to improve teachers’ understanding of this mathematics. She is co-director of the National Center for Teacher Effectiveness and also principal investigator of a five-year study examining the effects of Marilyn Burns Math Solutions professional development on teaching and learning. Her other interests include the measurement of instruction more broadly, instructional improvement efforts in mathematics, and the role that language plays in the implementation of public policy. She received a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Michigan in 2000 for work analyzing the implementation of public policies in law enforcement and education. She has served as section chair for AERA division L (politics and policy), and on the editorial board of Journal of Research in Mathematics Education. She is the co-author, with David K. Cohen, of Learning policy: When state education reform works (Yale Press, 2001).

Geoffrey Phelps
is an assistant research scientist in the educational studies program at the University of Michigan. He earned his PhD in teacher education with a focus on the study and measurement of teacher knowledge and instruction in elementary reading. His interest in teacher knowledge grew out of his own experience struggling to teach reading and mathematics to early elementary grade students. While he was a strong adult reader with a solid background in mathematics, his own knowledge often wasn’t much help when it came to teaching young children. This led to an interest in identifying the special types of knowledge about reading and mathematics that teachers need in order to teach these subjects. Currently he directs a number of projects to develop measures of teacher knowledge in mathematics and reading and to study the links between professional development, teacher knowledge, and instruction. His publications focus on the technical issues of designing and using measures of teacher knowledge and instruction and the implications of different measurement strategies for research, teacher education, and policy.

Jennifer Lewis
recently earned her PhD in teacher education and mathematics education at the University of Michigan (2007). Previous to her graduate studies, Jenny taught elementary and middle school for ten years. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Michigan, working on a number of research projects in mathematics and teacher education, including the Learning Mathematics for Teaching Project, and the Developing an Integrated Assessment System Project. Jennifer conducts and does research on a form of Japanese lesson study in professional development work with teachers, and is interested in how teachers learn to teach and the mathematics they draw upon and learn in teaching.

Stephen Schilling
is a statistician and psychometrician whose research covers the areas of Item Response Theory, multidimensional item response theory, and Bayesian statistics. He has published articles in the Journal of the American Statistical Association, the Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics, and Psychometrka and is the author of two computer programs for IRT analysis of binary and ordinal data. During the past three years he has applied psychometric methods to the measurement of pedagogical content knowledge in reading and mathematics.

Laurie Sleep
is a doctoral student in mathematics education at the University of Michigan. Her research interests build upon her experience as an elementary teacher and include designing and studying ways to help prospective teachers develop mathematical knowledge for teaching. She teaches both mathematics methods and content courses for prospective teachers and was named a University of Michigan Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor in 2006. Laurie holds a B.A. in business-economics and a master’s degree in education from UCLA, and a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Michigan.

Mark Thames
studies mathematics teaching and teacher knowledge. As a successful mathematics student and teacher he became interested in perennial problems of mathematics education, such as inexplicable and unacceptable patterns of failure among certain social groups, many students' common but misguided notion that they do not possess mathematical minds, and occasions where students would understand and be able to perform successfully on Friday, yet come back Monday apparently having forgotten. These problems led him into the study of mathematics teaching and to the hypothesis that teachers' mathematical knowledge specific to teaching plays a key role in their effectiveness. His interests include research on teaching, teacher knowledge, and teacher learning, measures of teacher knowledge, the mathematical preparation of teachers, and the professional education of those who teach mathematics to teachers.

Deborah A. Zopf
is a doctoral student in mathematics education at the University of Michigan. She has worked on several research projects focusing on the mathematics used in teaching and has taught the mathematics methods course for pre-service elementary teachers. Her research interests focus on mathematics teacher education and the mathematical knowledge used in this work.

In addition to her doctoral work, Deborah is a mathematics teacher and the director of a teacher education program at a community college. It was Deborah’s passion for this work and her commitment to working with teachers and children in urban schools that motivated her pursuit of her doctoral degree.

Deborah holds a B.S. in Mathematics Education from Purdue University and a M.A. in Mathematics from Eastern Michigan University. She has been recognized for her work in mathematics teacher preparation at the community college and has mentored many community colleges in this work.