Susan Empson

Susan Empson
University of Missouri | Mizzou · Department of Learning, Teaching and Curriculum

PhD

About

39
Publications
18,108
Reads
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2,686
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2016 - present
University of Missouri
Position
  • Chair
September 1996 - present
University of Texas at Austin
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (39)
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated discursive positioning moves that facilitated Latino/a English learners' (ELs) opportunities to take on agentive problem-solving roles in group mathematical discussion. A focus on mechanisms that support students' agentive participation is consistent with the authors' view that recurrent experiences participating and being p...
Chapter
The authors present a new view of the relationship between learning fractions and learning algebra that (1) emphasizes the conceptual continuities between whole-number arithmetic and fractions; and (2)shows how the fundamental properties of operations and equality that form the foundations of algebra are used naturally by children in their strategi...
Article
This study explored the complexity of teachers’ considerations during number selection, which is a core element of problem planning. We examined teachers’ purposeful number selection for Equal Sharing problems, a type of fraction story problem. Participants included 47 elementary-school teachers engaged in a multiyear professional development focus...
Article
Productive struggle is an essential part of mathematics instruction that promotes learning with deep understanding. A video scenario is used to provide a glimpse of productive struggle in action and to showcase its characteristics for both students and teachers. Suggestions for supporting productive struggle are provided.
Article
The complexity of understanding unit fractions is often underappreciated in instruction. We introduce a continuum of children's understanding of unit fractions to explore this complexity and to help teachers make sense of children's strategies and recognize milestones in the development of unit-fraction understanding. Suggestions for developing thi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study was contextualized in a vision of teaching that is responsive to children’s mathematical thinking. We explored elementary school teachers’ engagement with strategy details in children’s written work, and our findings showcase the complexity of connecting these details to teaching moves during follow-up conversations. We introduce the len...
Article
Fifth graders explore approaches to solving a division-of-fractions problem introduced within the context of hot chocolate servings.
Article
This case study contributes to efforts to characterize teaching that is responsive to children’s mathematical thinking. We conceptualize responsive teaching as a type of teaching in which teachers’ instructional decisions about what to pursue and how to pursue it are continually adjusted during instruction in response to children’s content-specific...
Article
Full-text available
Decision making during instruction that is responsive to children’s mathematical thinking is examined reflexively by the researcher in the context of teaching second graders. Focus is on exploring how the research base on learning informs teaching decisions that are oriented to building on children’s sound conceptions. The development of four child...
Article
Full-text available
Little to no information exists explaining the nature of conceptual gaps in understanding fractions for students with learning disabilities (LD); such information is vital to practitioners seeking to develop instruction or interventions. Many researchers argue such knowledge can be revealed through student’s problem-solving strategies. Despite qual...
Article
In this study, a temporal analysis and the analytical category of intersubjectivity are used to investigate how teachers and Latino/a bilingual students constructed shared communicative spaces in group mathematical discussions in an after school mathematics program in a culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse primary school. Intersubje...
Chapter
This set of comparative case studies examined three teachers’ enactments of a mathematics replacement unit to teach concepts of rate and linear function using SimCalc. The cases were drawn from a larger set of 37 teachers in a randomized experimental study that documented a significant main effect on student achievement. The goal was to identify th...
Article
Full-text available
The authors present three studies (two randomized controlled experiments and one embedded quasi-experiment) designed to evaluate the impact of replacement units targeting student learning of advanced middle school mathematics. The studies evaluated the SimCalc approach, which integrates an interactive representational technology, paper curriculum,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Scaling Up SimCalc project implemented three large-scale studies designed to evaluate the impact of a Learning Sciences-based replacement unit targeting student learning of advanced middle school mathematics. Strong main effects in each study consistently showed the approach to be effective in enabling a wide variety of teachers in a diversity...
Chapter
Full-text available
Listening effectively and responding to children’s mathematical thinking is surprisingly hard work. Research indicates that years, not months, are required to develop the personal resources needed to teach in ways that incorporate responsive listening. Drawing upon a synthesis of research, the authors offer a set of benchmarks that describe notable...
Article
Building understanding of multiplicative relationships is a key goal of mathematics instruction in the upper elementary and middle grades. Multiplicative thinking includes comparing numbers through many processes: multiplication and division (rather than addition and subtraction), ratio, proportions, stretching and shrinking, magnification, scaling...
Article
Although children partition by repeatedly halving easily and spontaneously as early as the age of 4, multiplicative thinking is difficult and develops over a long period in school. Given the apparently multiplicative character of repeated halving and doubling, it is natural to ask what role they might play in the development of multiplicative think...
Article
Full-text available
Although equal sharing problems appear to support the development of fractions as multiplicative structures, very little work has examined how children's informal solutions reflect this possibility. The primary goal of this study was to analyze children's coordination of two quantities (number of people sharing and number of things being shared) in...
Article
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Our study investigated the knowledge 13elementary teachers gained implementing astudent-centered curriculum in the context ofdistrict-wide reform. Participants comprisedall the teachers in grades three, four and fiveat a single elementary school. We believed thatinvestigating teachers' responses to fictionalpedagogical scenarios involving nonstanda...
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In the context of U.S. and world wide educational reforms that require teachers to understand and respond to student thinking about mathematics in new ways, ongoing learning from practice is a necessity. In this paper we report on this process for one teacher in one especially productive year of learning. This case study documents how Ms. Statz's e...
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This article presents an analysis of two low-performing students' experiences in a first- grade classroom oriented toward teaching mathematics for understanding. Combining constructs from interactional sociolinguistics and developmental task analysis, I investigate the nature of these students' participation in classroom discourse about fractions....
Article
En se concentrant sur une population d'eleves particuliere, choisie d'apres une etude intra-nationale, en l'occurence ici les afro-americains, les eleves issus des classes ouvrieres et les eleves a faible rendement, l'auteur analyse les recherches recentes effectuees pour tenter d'offrir un debut de solution. L'integration de ces cas d'echec scolai...
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How would you help a child understand that 8/24 = 1/3? What kinds of ideas and activities support that understanding? A common approach to fraction equivalence is to show that two fractional parts are the same size through matching circular or rectangular regions. This approach is limited because it isolates the idea of equivalence from other poten...
Article
Full-text available
Work on learning from a situative point of view suggests that to understand how children's thinking about a domain such as fractions develops, research needs to take into account the socially organized ways of thinking in which children participate during instruction. The aim of the study reported in this article was to explore children's fraction...
Article
This 3-year longitudinal study investigated the development of 82 children's understanding of multidigit number concepts and operations in Grades 1-3. Students were individually interviewed 5 times on a variety of tasks involving base-ten number concepts and addition and subtraction problems. The study provides an existence proof that children can...
Article
This 3-year longitudinal study investigated the development of 82 children's understanding of multidigit number concepts and operations in Grades 1—3. Students were individually interviewed 5 times on a variety of tasks involving base-ten number concepts and addition and subtraction problems. The study provides an existence proof that children can...
Article
This study examined changes in the beliefs and instruction of 21 primary grade teachers over a 4-year period in which the teachers participated in a CGI (Cognitively Guided Instruction) teacher development program that focused on helping the teachers understand the development of children's mathematical thinking by interacting with a specific resea...
Article
This study examined changes in the beliefs and instruction of 21 primary grade teachers over a 4-year period in which the teachers participated in a CGI (Cognitively Guided Instruction) teacher development program that focused on helping the teachers understand the development of children's mathematical thinking by interacting with a specific resea...
Article
It is surprising to learn that first graders know a lot about fractions. That is what two first-grade teachers and the author discovered when they collaborated on a five-week fraction unit. This article describes the highlights of a case study of fractions in a first-grade class then presents some preliminary findings suggesting that third-, fourth...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we show how a student's own reasoning — along with good problem-setting and guidance from the teacher — is used to help a student develop her proportional reasoning abilities. Through analyzing what one student did, we provide insights and strategies teachers can use with all students. First of all, what is proportional reasoning?...
Article
Full-text available
"Closing the achievement gap" is a goal espoused by many — from those in the mathematics education research community to the authors of No Child Left Behind. How we define these gaps influences our approach to closing them. In this presentation, we consider an alternative definition and advocate a classroom-based approach that focuses on teacher mo...

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