Mitchell Nathan


Mitchell Nathan is a Professor of Learning Sciences (Educational Psychology Dept.) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also Director of the Center on Education and Work, and Director of the IES Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Mathematical Thinking, Learning and Instruction. He holds faculty appointments in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, the Psychology Department, and the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER). He is also a member of the UW Cognitive Science Cluster and the Delta Program steering committee. He served as Chair of the Learning Sciences program from 2004 to 2010.

Nathan's research is largely rooted in cognitive, embodied and social perspectives on learning and instruction in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). He examines the nature of representations in both their internal (intra-personal) and external (inter-personal) forms as they serve meaning making, individual and group design, instruction, reasoning and problem solving, and learning.

Nathan enjoys making music, biking, hiking, camping, and generally hanging out.


See video of Mitch discussing CareerLocker.

Contact Information
Phone: (608) 263-0563
Office: 964A Ed Sciences

Current Projects

Connecting Mathematical Ideas through Animated Multimodal Instruction
Postdoctoral Training Program in Mathematical Thinking, Learning, and Instruction
How Dynamic Gestures and Directed Actions Contribute to Mathematical Proof Practices
Understanding Teacher Change and Teachers as Learners in K-12 Classrooms (TAL)

Completed Projects

Collaborative Research: Understanding and Cultivating the Transition from Arithmetic to Algebraic Reasoning
Collaborative Research: Understanding and Cultivating the Transition from Arithmetic to Algebraic Thinking
STAAR Teacher Professional Development Project
Do Teachers' Gestures Facilitate Students' Mathematics Learning? Evidence from Early Algebra
Aligning Educational Experiences with Ways of Knowing Engineering: How People Learn Engineering
Tangibility for Teaching, Learning and Communicating Mathematics
How Do Instructional Gestures Support Students' Mathematics Learning?
National Center for Cognition and Math Instruction (NCCMI)