Matthews Receives NSF Award to Study Ways to Help Students Better Understand the Equal Sign

September 27, 2018

From UW-Madison School of Education:

UW-Madison’s Percival Matthews is the principal investigator on a new National Science Foundation (NSF) grant that’s designed to examine ways to promote equal sign knowledge among school children.

The researchers will test the effectiveness of brief episodes of instruction over the course of a semester to build children’s understanding of the equal sign and associated gains in algebraic thinking. Participants in the research will be elementary- and middle- school students.

Matthews is an assistant professor with the School of Education's No. 1-ranked Department of Educational Psychology and he heads the Mathematics Education Learning and Development Lab. The research team will include co-principal investigators Martha Alibali and Ana Stephens. Alibali is a UW-Madison professor of psychology and an investigator with the School of Education’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER), while Stephens is an associate researcher with WCER.

The NSF award, for more than $670,000 over the next three years, is for a project titled, “Cultivating Knowledge of Mathematical Equivalence.” 

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