I am a Kennedy Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Learning, a Professor, and the Executive Director of the Marsico Institute of Early Learning and Literacy at the University of Denver's Morgridge College of Education, Previously a kindergarten teacher for five years and a preschool teacher for one year, I have since conducted research and published widely in the areas of:
The learning and teaching of early mathematics
Computer applications in mathematics education
Creating, using, and evaluating a research-based curriculum and in taking successful curricula to scale using technologies and learning trajectories
Development and evaluation of innovative assessments of mathematics achievement, as well as mathematics teaching
We have published over 120 refereed research studies, 18 books, 70 chapters, and 275 additional publications. Our latest books detail research-based learning trajectories in early mathematics education: "Early childhood mathematics education research: Learning trajectories for young children" and a companion book, "Learning and teaching early math: The learning trajectories approach" (Routledge).
While a SUNY Distinguished Professor at the University of Buffalo, I was a member of President Bush's National Math Advisory Panel, convened to advise the administration on the best use of scientifically based research to advance the teaching and learning of mathematics, and coauthor of the Panel’s report. I was also a member of the National Research Council’s Committee on Early Mathematics and co-author of their report. I helped develop the Common Core State Standards committee of the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, writing national academic standards and the learning trajectories that underlie them.
Currently, Julie Sarama and I are conducting several research projected funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES). For example, "Scaling Up TRIAD: Teaching Early Mathematics for Understanding with Trajectories and Technologies" and " Longitudinal Study of a successful scaling up project Extending TRIAD" are the third and fourth large research projects funded by the IES to evaluate our model for scaling up successful educational innovations (TRIAD = Technology-enhanced, Research-based Instruction, Assessment, and professional Development). Three recent research projects have just been funded by the NSF. In "Using Rule Space and Poset-based Adaptive Testing Methodologies to Identify Ability Patterns in Early Mathematics and Create a Comprehensive Mathematics Ability Test," we are developing a computer-adaptive assessment for early mathematics. In "Early Childhood Education in the Context of Mathematics, Science, and Literacy," we are developing an interdisciplinary preschool curriculum. Finally, our "Children's Measurement" project, conducted with colleague Jeff Barrett from ISU, is refining learning trajectories in geometric measurement, pre-K to grade 8. See the "Research Projects" tab for more detail.