Nicole L. Fonger’s research interests center on secondary students' learning of mathematics and their representational fluency in solving problems with technology. In particular, Nicole’s research involves modeling sophistication in students’ representational fluency in solving problems with computer algebra systems and paper-and-pencil. Nicole is interested in advancing this line of inquiry to address questions concerning the pragmatic and epistemic roles of tool-based representations in students’ functional thinking and equation solving activity. Grounded in a linking research and practice agenda, Nicole’s research also addresses questions about characterizing students’ learning over time and the related curricular and instructional supports for that learning.
As a postdoctoral fellow for the Training Program in Mathematical Thinking, Learning, and Instruction, Nicole is involved in several projects at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research. Her work with Drs. Ana Stephens and Eric Knuth on the LEAP project supports her interest in learning progressions and algebraic thinking practices, including representing and reasoning with generalizations. Nicole’s work with Dr. Amy Ellis on the SPARQ project supports her interest in learning trajectories for students’ understanding of functions, further stimulating questions about the relationship between students’ representational activity and cognition.
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