Noted Math Educator Liping Ma Joins the Carnegie Foundation


From: Gay Clyburn of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 650-566-5162 Email:

MENLO PARK, Calif., Jan. 11 -- Liping Ma began her career as an educator when the head of the rural village in China asked her to teach in the village school. She was in the eighth grade and had been sent to the village as part of the re-education program during the Cultural Revolution. Seven years later, she was principal of the school, and later, was county superintendent.

She now has a Ph.D. in curriculum and teacher education from Stanford University and was just named as a Senior Scholar with The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Her book, Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics, based on her doctoral dissertation, is quoted on all sides of discussions about how to teach mathematics in elementary school in the United States. This work, comparing Chinese and American educators, looks at how a profound understanding of fundamental mathematics is attained and how that knowledge is then transferred to elementary school students.

At Carnegie, Ma will work with mathematics teachers to support and improve math education in Silicon Valley. The Foundation expects this work to be tested locally and replicated nationally. She will also contribute to the work of the Foundation's study of teacher education, looking again at effective ways to teach mathematics.

"Liping is deeply committed to working with mathematics teachers in the local area," Carnegie President Lee S. Shulman said. "The Foundation also hopes that her work will continue to guide policy makers to commission the development of assessments that tap profound understanding of fundamental mathematics among future elementary teachers, not superficial knowledge of procedures and rules." Ma was accepted into the doctoral program in the School of Education at Michigan State University after earning a master's degree in education from East China Normal University. She is the recipient of the Arthur R. and Pearl Butler Scholarship at Michigan State, a Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship at Stanford, and a McDonnell Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cognitive Studies for Educational Practice at the University of California, Berkeley.

Her most recent work, "Knowing Mathematics," was published by Houghton Mifflin this year.

--- The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching was founded in 1905 by Andrew Carnegie, "to do all things necessary to encourage, uphold and dignify the profession of teaching." The Foundation is the only advanced study center for teachers in the world and the third-oldest foundation in the nation. Its non-profit research activities are produced by a small group of distinguished scholars.

This article comes from Science Blog. Copyright 2004