Carolyn A. Maher

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.

The Robert B. Davis Institute for Learning (RBDIL) has a successful history of long-term commitments to education reform initiatives and works closely with schools and districts, K-12. Presentations and workshops for groups of teachers, math educators and administrators have been conducted throughout the United States as well as in diverse settings in several countries to include Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, South Africa, Mozambique, Japan and China. The Institute houses an extensive digitized video collection from longitudinal and cross-sectional research on mathematics learning, reasoning, argumentation and proof making in learners. The unique collection of over 4000 hours of videos with accompanying metadata from longitudinal and cross-sectional studies is stored in the cloud and available on the VMC to create video narratives (VMCAnalytics). The Rutgers-Kenilworth longitudinal study followed a cohort of students from grade 1 through grade 12, and through college and beyond. Strands of tasks, student work and other metadata can be viewed in the Video Mosaic Collaborative (see https://videomosaic.org/). The video collection on the VMC is available worldwide, open source. Over 80 video narratives are published and available as resources for learning and teaching.

• B.A. in Mathematics, Rutgers University (Minor, Science and German)
• Ed.M. in Education, Rutgers University
• Ed.D. in Mathematics Education, Rutgers University (Minor Statistics)
• 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)
• National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
• American Educational Research Association (AERA)
• International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PME)
• International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, North American Chapter (PME-NA)
• 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

    Zhang, D., C. Maher, & L. Wilkinson. (2022). Meaningful assessments of students who struggle to learn mathematics. In Y. Xin, R. Tzur & H. Thoulsee (eds.), Enabling mathematical learning of struggling students: New York, NY: Springer Nature.

    Francisco, J., Maher, C. A., Wilkinson, L. C., Alston, A. and Krupnik, V. (2021). Paradigm shifts in mathematical learning and teaching: The legacy of Robert B. Davis, Journal of Mathematical Behavior, Article Collection, Elsevier, London.

    Bailey, A., Maher, C., Wilkinson, L., & Nyakoojo, U. (2021) The role of assessment in learning and teaching mathematics with English-speaking and EL students (Chapter 8). In D. Varier & S. Nichols (eds.), American Education Research Association Theory to Practice Series: Educational psychology for teachers and teaching: Teaching on assessment. Charlotte, NC: Information Age PublishingISBN-10 : 1648024289 ISBN-13 : 978-1648024283.

    Wilkinson, L., Bailey, A., & C. Maher. (2020). Students’ learning language and learning to reason mathematically. In M. Daszkiewicz & A. Dąbrowska (eds.) In search for the language educational paradigm. Kraków, Poland: Oficyna Wydawnicza IMPULS Press.  ISBN 978-83-7850-779-6.

    Bailey, A., Maher, C., Wilkinson, L., & Nyakoojo, U. (2020). The role of assessment in learning and teaching mathematics with English-speaking and EL students. In D. Varier & S. Nichols (eds.), Theory to practice: Educational psychology for teachers and teaching: Teaching on assessment. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

    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)

    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).

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

    Research, Teaching, Service Lifetime Achievement Award, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (2022). https://www.nctm.org/Grants-and-Awards/Lifetime-Achievement-Award/Carolyn-Maher/

    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).

    Associate Alumnae of Douglass College Society of Excellence Award, recognizes alumnae who have made major contributions in their field of expertise and whose life work embodies exceptional accomplishments and leadership (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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