Dr. Ellis' research focuses on middle-school and secondary mathematics education. She is interested in studying students' reasoning, particularly as it relates to mathematical generalization, justification and proof, and the development of algebraic thinking. Her completed research projects include: a) a study of middle school students' generalizations and proofs during units on linear functions, b) an examination of the changing beliefs and practices of algebra teachers through a professional development partnership, c) an investigation of the classroom features that supported high school students' generalizations about slope, and d) a study of the interaction patterns in an all-girls algebra classroom. Her current research is supported by a collaborative NSF-funded project, Coordinating Social and Individual Aspects of Generalizing Activity: A Multi-Tiered "Focusing Phenomena" Study. This project examines the ways in which classroom environments influence high-school students' mathematical generalizations. Over the course of the next three years, researchers in San Diego and Dr. Ellis' research team in Madison will develop a multi-tiered profile linking teachers' subject matter knowledge with instructional treatments, which in turn will be linked to students' generalizations.
Dr. Ellis' current work allows her to remain involved in the education and professional development of teachers. She enjoys teaching courses for secondary pre-service teachers, as well as working with in-service secondary teachers in the local middle schools and high schools.
Phone: (608) 263-1955
Office: 693 Ed Sciences
Completed ProjectsCoordinating Social and Individual Aspects of Generalizing Activity: A Multi-Tiered Focusing Phenomona Study
Understanding and Cultivating the Connections Between Students' Natural Ways of Reasoning and Mathematical Ways of Reasoning
The Role and Use of Examples in Learning to Prove
Postdoctoral Training Program in Mathematical Thinking, Learning, and Instruction
Generalization Across Multiple Mathematical Areas