A paper published in July 2019 by Jonee Wilson, Ph.D., an assistant professor of mathematics education at the NC State College of Education, will be honored this spring with an Early Career Publication Award from the Special Interest Group in Research in Mathematics Education (SIG-RME).
The award, established in 2001 to recognize an outstanding mathematics research publication by an early career scholar, will be given for Wilson’s “Investigating Teaching in Conceptually Oriented Mathematics Classrooms Characterized by African American Student Success” paper, which was published in the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education.
“It is an honor to receive such an award that acknowledges quality in research and writing, especially from colleagues that I respect and admire within the Special Interest Group in Research in Mathematics Education,” Wilson said.
Wilson’s paper focuses on the analysis of teachers in eight middle school classrooms who used several forms of instructional practice that led to African American students within their classrooms performing better than predicted on state tests. The paper outlines seven common practices used by these teachers with the goal of informing professional learning for pre-service and in-service teachers.
Wilson said she hopes the paper will help educators understand that instruction must go beyond a focus on conceptual understanding and efficient problem solving to effectively teach mathematics and support students who have been historically marginalized in the subject.
“One of the implications of the paper is that what counts as ‘high-quality mathematics instruction’ may not be sufficient in order to ensure that all students can substantially participate and achieve in mathematics,” she said. “I hope the paper is a step toward providing concrete illustrations of how teachers can implement instruction that is both high-quality and equitable.”
To further support equitable mathematics education, Wilson is using the findings from her award-winning paper to help inform her work as principal investigator of a four-year, $2.3 million NSF grant-funded project.
Through the project, she will create and validate a set of rubrics — based, in part, on the instructional practices outlined in her paper — to assist researchers in determining the extent to which high-quality instructional practices are being used to support marginalized students.
Wilson said the project is currently in phase one of four, which involves editing the rubrics and developing training materials. In addition, the project team has been examining feedback from expert mathematics educators who focus on equity, diversity and mathematics teaching practices.
Wilson and co-principal investigator Temple Walkowiak, Ph.D., have also used the rubrics with graduate students to develop a list of frequently asked questions, identify examples that highlight key distinctions within and across the rubrics and outline definitions of important terms.
“I anticipate that knowledge generated from the paper and rubrics has the potential to influence the ways pre-service teachers are prepared, the ways in-service teachers are trained and the ways mathematics education researchers investigate questions concerning issues of equity and access, particularly as they relate to instruction,” Wilson said.
Wilson will receive her Early Career Publication Award at an SIG-RME event in San Francisco, Calif., in April. She is one of two researchers who will receive the award.Read Wilson’s Award-Winning Paper