Nicole Panorkou, an Assistant Professor in the department of Mathematical Sciences, completed her PhD in Mathematics Education at the Institute of Education (University of London). Nicole's thesis was a phenomenographic study of students' experiences of dimension in geometry. After earning her PhD, Nicole was awarded a Fulbright scholarship and worked as a post-doctoral researcher in multiple NSF-funded projects as part of the GISMO team at North Carolina State University. She contributed to the development of the resource TurnOnCCMath.net that maps the CCSS-M into learning trajectories, and she was also one of the instructors of the MOOC-Ed (Massive Open Online Courses for Educators) on learning trajectories and the CCSS-M.
Nicole's research interests include development and validation of learning trajectories for K-8 mathematics; student learning of geometry, algebra and rational number reasoning; and a focus on the ways that technology and modeling can foster the utility of mathematical concepts.
This project will design, develop, and study the effects of instructional modules that integrate computational and mathematical thinking with the Earth and environmental sciences in grades 5-7. Three key elements of computational thinking (computational concepts, computational practices, and computational perspectives) will be interleaved with learning objectives in mathematics and the sciences at a pace that is grade-level appropriate. The project will pursue the following objectives: (1) Design and implement instructional modules that integrate computational and mathematical thinking into the Earth and environmental sciences in Grades 5, 6 and 7; (2) Study and refine the instructional modules to monitor effects on student learning; (3) Develop and conduct teacher professional development activities that support the integration of computational and mathematical thinking into the Earth and environmental sciences; (4) Investigate teacher experiences and perceptions of integrating computational thinking into instruction for the purpose of learning how to support teachers in implementing these instructional practices; and (5) Build a digital support platform to facilitate the development and use of the instructional modules and professional development and the proposed research. This project is funded by the National Science Foundation.
Aiming to resolve students’ difficulties and help them develop a conceptual understanding of volume, this study explores an innovative way for students to experience volume measurement, what we refer to as Dynamic Measurement for Volume (DYME-V). DYME-V engages students in building 3D objects through dynamic experiences of ‘sweeping’ lengths and ‘extruding’ areas, constructing in that way a meaning of volume as a continuous structure that can dynamically change based on three linear measures: length, width and height. This project is funded through a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation postdoctoral fellowship.
This project is a design study exploring a dynamic approach to teaching and learning measurement, which seems to be a promising approach to developing conceptual images of area and volume formulas. Dynamic measurement (DYME) involves engaging students in dynamic experiences of generating 2D surfaces and 3D shapes by iteratively composing lower-dimensional objects. The project is exploring a) the nature of tasks and tools that may be used for developing students’ DYME reasoning, b) the forms of DYME reasoning that can be seen to develop as students engage with these tasks, c) how students’ DYME thinking may support the development of meanings for the area and volume formulas, and d) how DYME can be integrated into the existing teaching and learning of measurement. The DYME project is funded by the Spencer Foundation.