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Carolyn A. Maher

Distinguished Professor; Director, Robert B. Davis Institute for Learning; Editor, The Journal of Mathematical Behavior
Learning & Teaching
GSE Room #231

Carolyn A. Maher, Ed.D., Distinguished Professor of Mathematics Education and Director of the Robert B. Davis Institute for Learning (RBDIL), focuses her research agenda on longitudinal and cross-sectional studies of student’s mathematical reasoning and argumentation. She was inspired by her passion to attend to the needs of learners and to uncover much of their untapped potential. Her curiosity then came to include how students learn to reason and how they develop intellectual curiosity. As a prior high-school teacher and college math professor, she was fascinated by how learners build strong understandings of mathematical ideas and ways of reasoning. This ultimately led to her work being funded with National Science Foundation (NSF) research grants and other sources over 3 decades, receiving over 16 million dollars. She gave over 50 invited talks throughout the world and organized and led workshops and courses in South Africa, Brazil and Mozambique. She strives to provide opportunities for all students to succeed by building a strong and meaningful understanding of mathematics and to do so in a collaborative environment. She extends this support to teachers as well in helping them discover effecting teaching methods such as being attentive to the deep knowledge of mathematics; to student differences and strengths; and to learn to organize opportunities for all students to have a voice and grow in their knowledge. Furthermore, she helps teachers to also be aware and attend to the diversity of backgrounds, language, culture, ethnicity, and unique ways of contributing to building knowledge.

Maher pursued Mathematics during her undergraduate career, after which she earned her Master’s in Education. She then went on to obtain her Educational Doctorate in Mathematics Education. Maher’s work addresses how to improve student learning and teaching while also providing equal access to STEM for all students. She is involved in various professional organizations in both leadership and service roles, including serving as the President for North American Group of the Psychology of Mathematics Education; Chair for the American Education Research Association; and an elected member to the Holmdel Public Schools Board of Education. She is also the Editor-in-chief for The Journal of Mathematical Behavior and served on the editorial boards of The British Journal of Educational Studies and the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education. She considers the legacies and work of all her students to be her proudest achievement.

Recent Grants:

BCC: Collaborative Research: Community Building for Research on Mathematics Learning Using Data-Intensive Sources (2014-2016), award DGE-1439570 funded by the National Science Foundation, $604,661 (with M. F. Palius).

Leveraging existing technologies to build mathematical reasoning and content knowledge of pre-service teachers in an online environment (2013-2014), award from the Goal Advancement Program (GAP), funded by Rutgers University Graduate School of Education, $8,000 (with R. Sigley (PI) and M. Alqahtani)

Collaborative Research: R&D: Cyber-Enabled Design Research to Enhance Teachers’ Critical Thinking Using a Major Video Collection on Children’s Mathematical Reasoning (2013-2014), Supplemental award DRL-0822204, funded by the National Science Foundation, $198,982

Exploring the use of an available video archive to support learning about child development (2012-2013), award from the Goal Advancement Program (GAP), funded by Rutgers University Graduate School of Education, $7,600 (with S. Golbeck (PI) and C. E. Hmelo-Silver).

• B.A. in Mathematics, Rutgers University
• Ed.M. in Education, Rutgers University
• Ed.D. in Mathematics Education
• Advisory Board: National Assessment for Education Progress (NAEP)
• Advisory Board : DRK-12 Project, National Science Foundation Funded Research
• Advisory Board: Winsight, Educational Testing Service (ETS)
• European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI)
• American Educational Research Association (AERA)
• AERA Special Interest Group Research in Math Education (SIG-RME)
• International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PME)
• International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, North American Chapter (PME-NA)
• Mathematical Association of America (MAA)
• National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
• Jean Piaget Society
• American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)

  • Expertise & Research Interest


    Learning Cognition and Development

    Learning Sciences

    Cyber Enabled Research

    Statistics Education

  • Research Work With Students

    Creating and publishing video narratives for ingestion into Rutgers University Repository:  (see: www.videomosaic.org). See published VMCAnalytics (www.videomosaic.org)

  • Recent & Selected Publications

    Maher, C. A. and Wilkinson, L.C. (2019). Designing and Conducting Quality Research in Mathematics Education: Building a Program. In Leatham, K. R. (Ed.) Research in Mathematics Education: Designing, Conducting and Publishing Quality Research in Mathematics Education.  Springer. Springer Nature Switzerland AG: (ISBN 978-3-030-23505-5).

    Maher, C. A., Uptegrove, E. and Wilkinson, L.W. (2019). The Journal of Mathematical Behavior. In Kaiser, G. (Ed.) Compendium for Early Career Researchers in Mathematics Education. Springer. Springer Nature Switzerland AG: (ISBN 978-3-o3015636-7)

    Van Ness, C. and Maher, C. A. (2018). Analysis of the argumentation of nine-year-olds engaged in discourse about comparing fraction models. The Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 51, 71-79.

    Maher, C. A., Sigley, R., Sullivan, P., Wilkinson, L. (2018). An International Perspective on Knowledge in Teaching Mathematics. The Journal of Mathematical Behavior, Elsevier, London.

    Bailey, A., Maher, C., & Wilkinson, L. C. (Eds.). (2018). Language, literacy, and learning in the STEM disciplines: How language counts for English learners. NY, NY: Routledge Taylor Francis: (ISBN 978-1-13828428-9)

    Maher, C. A. & Yankelewitz, D. (2017). Children’s Reasoning While Building Fraction Ideas. Sense Publishers, Rotterdam: (ISBN 978-94-6351-007-3)

    Bailey, A., Maher, C. A., Wilkinson, L. C (2018). Chapter 1: Language, literacy, and learning in the STEM disciplines. In Bailey, A., Maher, C. A. & Wilkinson, L. C. (Eds.), Language, Literacy, and Learning in the STEM Disciplines: How Language Counts for English Learners (pp 1-10), New York & Oxford: Routledge Taylor Francis. (ISBN 978-1138284296).

  • Honors & Awards

    Problems and Possibilities. Private Universe Project in Mathematics, Science Media Group, Harvard Astrophysics Observatory, MA, (2001). Six one-hour videotapes highlighting the combinatorics, probability and pre-calculus strands of C. Maher’s longitudinal study (in its twelfth year).

    Distinguished Faculty Award, Graduate School of Education Alumni Association, Rutgers University (2010).

    Who’s Who in Organizational Leadership, Assessment, and Improvement, Center for Organizational Development and Leadership, Rutgers University (2006).

    Faculty Achievement Award for Service, Alumni Association, Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University (2005, 1990).

    Faculty Achievement Award for Research, Alumni Association, Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University (2003, 1994).

    Outstanding Service, American Society of Engineering Education (1993).

    Excellence in Teaching, Warren I. Susman Award, Rutgers University (1992).

    Certificate of Recognition, for publication of NCTM 1990 monograph: Constructivist Views on The Teaching and Learning of Mathematics, 69th Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (1992).

    Douglass Society Member, honored by the Associate Alumnae of Douglass College as a Distinguished Mathematics Educator (1991).

    C. Oswarld George Prize, best article in Teaching Statistics for 1990, awarded by the Institute of Statisticians, Lancashire, England (1991).

    Exemplary Partnership Award, for Rutgers-New Brunswick Schools Math Project by the Presidents’ Forum on Exemplary Partnerships for Minority Achievement, Second National Conference in School/College Collaboration, American Association for Higher Education (1991).

    Pioneer in Education Award, for Innovative and Successful Mathematics Teacher Development in New Jersey, American Association for Higher Education and the College Board (1990).

    Community Service Award, Holmdel Board of Education, (1987).

    Exemplary Project Award, Partnerships with Schools, New Jersey Department of Higher Education (1986).

  • Files
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