Dr. Kara Jackson joins the college as an assistant professor. She specializes in middle-grade mathematics teaching and learning. Jackson received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. Most recently she was on faculty at McGill University, where she received the McGill University Faculty of Education Heather Reisman and Gerald Schwartz Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Jackson was honored by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Research Committee with the Linking Research and Practice Outstanding Publication Award for an article she co-authored with colleagues, including Emily Shahan and Lynsey Gibbons at the University of Washington, that was published in Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School. She was a National Academy of Education Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow.
Jackson was drawn to the College of Education’s innovative research and innovative practice in teacher education. Her own work includes collaborative research on how classroom mathematics instruction might be re-organized to support all students’ substantial participation in rigorous mathematics. As part of this, she is critically examining what district and schools can do to support mathematics teachers’ development of productive practice.
“As an example, I am currently engaged in design-based research investigating the coordination of professional learning across contexts (e.g., school-based professional development, district-based professional development) and role groups (e.g., school leaders, coaches, teachers) as a potential mechanism for building such capacity,” Jackson explains. “I am engaged in this work in the context of a longitudinal study in which a group of researchers from math education and policy/leadership have partnered with two large, urban districts that are attempting ambitious reform in the middle grades; the ultimate goal is to understand what it takes to support instructional improvement at the scale of large, urban districts.”
Jackson hopes that her work will “contribute to district leaders’ efforts to improve the quality of students’ opportunities to learn mathematics at scale.”