Katherine Lewis is an assistant professor at the University of Washington's College of Education. Her research lies at the intersection of math education and special education and is concerned with understanding the nature of mathematical learning disabilities. Students with math learning disabilities experience persistent and pervasive difficulties learning even elementary mathematics. Dr. Lewis’s work centers on an understanding of disability in terms of cognitive difference rather than deficit. This theoretical orientation – informed by a Vygotskian perspective of disability and disability studies – involves identifying differences in student’s understanding as they occur in authentic learning environments, evaluating the accessibility of instruction, and considering ways in which students may compensate.
Her work is organized around several closely related analytic foci:
- Developing valid ways of identifying students with MLDs and differentiating MLDs from low achievement due to other factors
- Assessing math learning disabilities through detailed diagnostic analyses of video data
- Designing re-mediation approaches that are based on diagnostic analyses and tailored to the individual student
In her recent work she focused on the mathematical domain of fractions. Her current work involves designing alternative instructional approaches and extending her analytic foci to other mathematical topics to provide a more comprehensive view of math learning disabilities. In addition to her work on MLDs she also investigates how to design more accessible instruction for all learners.
Ph.D., M.A., Education, University of California, Berkeley
M.Sc., Multimedia Systems, Trinity College, Dublin
B.A. Psychology, University of Notre Dame
Honors and Awards
National Academy of Education - Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow, 2015
Early Career Publication Award of the Special Interest Group on Research in Mathematics, 2015
Spencer Dissertation Fellowship, 2010
Lewis, K. E. & Lynn, D. L. (in press). Access through compensation: Emancipatory view of a mathematics learning disability. Cognition & Instruction.
Lewis, K. E. & Lynn, D. L. (2018). An insider’s view of a mathematical learning disability: Compensating to gain access to fractions. Investigations in Mathematics Learning.
Lewis, K. E. & Lynn, D. L. (2018). Against the odds: Insights from a statistician with dyscalculia. Special Issue of Education Sciences on “Dispelling Myths about Mathematics” edited by Jo Boaler. 8, 63. doi:10.3390/educsci8020063
Lewis, K. E. & Fisher, M. B. (2018). Clinical interviews: Assessing and designing mathematics instruction for students with disabilities. Intervention in School and Clinic. 53(5). 283-291. doi: 10.1177/1053451217736864
Lynch, S. R., Hunt, J. H., Lewis, K. E. (2018). Productive struggle for all: Differentiated instruction. Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School. 23(4),194-201.
Lewis, K. E. (2017). Designing a bridging discourse: Re-mediation of a mathematical learning disability. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 26(2). 320-365. doi: 10.1080/10508406.2016.1256810
Lewis, K. E. (2016). Beyond error patterns: A sociocultural view of fraction comparison error patterns in students with mathematical learning disabilities. Learning Disability Quarterly 39(4), 199-212. doi:10.1177/0731948716658063
Lewis, K. E. (2016). Understanding mathematical learning disabilities as developmental difference: A fine-grained analysis of one student’s partitioning strategies for fractions. Infancia y Aprendizaje, 39(4), 812-857. doi:10.1080/02103702.2016.1215085
Lewis, K. E. & Fisher, M. B. (2016). Taking stock of 40 years of research on mathematical learning disability: Methodological issues and future directions. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 47(4), 338-371. doi:10.5951/jresematheduc.47.4.0338
Schoenfeld, A. H. & Lewis, K. E., (2016). Becoming a researcher: A reflection. Journal of Education, 196(2), 63-69.
Lewis, K. E. (2014). Difference not deficit: Reconceptualizing mathematical learning disabilities. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 45(3), 351–396.
Mazzocco, M. M. M., Myers, G. F., Lewis, K. E., Hanich, L. B., & Murphy, M. M. (2013). Limited knowledge of fraction representations differentiates middle school students with mathematics learning disability (dyscalculia) versus low mathematics achievement. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 115(2), 371–387. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2013.01.005
Lewis, K. E. (2010). Understanding mathematical learning disabilities: A case study of errors and explanations. Learning Disabilities a Contemporary Journal 8(1), pp. 21-30.
Saxe, G.B., Earnest, D., Sitabkhan, Y., Haldar, L.C., Lewis, K.E., & Zheng, Y. (2010). Supporting generative thinking about integers on number lines in elementary mathematics. Cognition and Instruction, 28(4), pp. 433-474.