About Our Research

Current Project

Our newest large project began in May of 2017 and will examine the critical skills for Algebra readiness and success. In a collaboration with Columbia Public Schools, funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, we have assessed pre-algebra skills at the end of 6th grade, and have followed these subjects through the end of 9th grade. We will determine which pre-algebra skills predict success or failure in High School Algebra, and develop a screening measure for use in 6th grade. This will allow for very fine-tuned individual instruction on the skills that need development, and better algebra readiness. The current project is directed by Dr. David Geary, MU Department of Psychological Sciences, in collaboration with Dr. John Lannin in the MU Department of Learning, Teaching, & Curriculum.

In 2017, we completed a 6-year study of early cognitive skills and their importance to math development.  It was funded by the National Science Foundation, and involved the study of preschool children.  A subset of subjects were enrolled in Title I, a program for children at risk for school failure. We followed about 225 children from age 3 to age 6. Our goal was to identify the early quantitative knowledge in three-year-olds that predicts their readiness to learn formal mathematics when they start elementary school. This study was in collaboration with Dr. Kristy vanMarle in the MU Department of Psychological Sciences. You can read more about the Preschool Math Study here.

In 2013, we completed a large, 10-year study in which we assessed over 300 children from their Kindergarten year through 9th grade.  This project was funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and uniquely contributed to the body of research on mathematical development and learning disabilities.  You can read more about the 10-year adolescent Math Study here