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Joseph DiNapoli, PhD is an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics. His teaching and research interests primarily concern mathematics education.
Joseph DiNapoli's research specialization concerns the intersection of two main themes: understanding the nature of perseverance in problem-solving and discovering methods by which perseverance can be supported and nurtured. Collectively, investigating these themes serves to advocate for learning mathematics with understanding. He studies these perseverance-related themes in a variety of different contexts, including undergraduate classrooms, secondary classrooms, elementary and early-childhood classrooms, and professional development cycles with in-service teachers. He also examines a variety of factors associated with these perseverance-related themes, including conceptual thinking scaffolding, translanguaging practice in bilingual settings, mathematical software, and curriculum materials.
Building A Teacher Knowledge Base for the Implementation of High-quality Instructional Resources Through the Collaborative Investigation of Video Cases
This NSF-funded project investigates the ways in which teachers learn within communities of practice centered on the collective investigation of video-cases grounded in high-quality instructional materials. In addition, we explore how teacher participation in such communities impact their use of these high-quality materials in their classrooms.
This NSF-funded project provides exemplary preparation to students for effective elementary mathematics teaching in high-need K-12 schools. Scholars obtain an undergraduate degree in mathematics along with a K-6 elementary teaching certification, and each scholar receives a $13,000 scholarship and a $660 stipend each year for two years with additional funding available for local conference travel. In return for the funds, Scholars agree to work two years in a high-needs school for each year of funding received (i.e., a scholar who receives funds for both years would work four years in a high-need school).
This NSF-funded project develops a STEM learning environment where students can freehand sketch on a touchscreen phone, tablet, or computer. They receive personalized feedback based on the sketches they draw to improve their conceptual understanding. The software algorithms developed interpret student sketches and provide optional hints that help students stay engaged in the zone of meaningful struggle for effective learning. Subject areas include elementary school mathematics, spatial visualization for 7th-12th grade technical education, postsecondary vocational and engineering programs, and eventually physics, geology, medicine and other STEM areas.
Investigating Perseverance across Diverse Mathematical Environments
This ongoing research concerns investigating students' perseverance in problem-solving across a variety of diverse mathematical environments. Specific contexts include individual and collaborative problem-solving, bilingual collaborative activity, early-childhood education, non-formal STEM environments, and more. Through mixed methodologies, this work seeks to better understand the tumultuous nature of in-the-moment perseverance across diverse settings and posit features of learning environments that can help nurture it. Thus, this research has both theoretical and practical impacts on the effective practices by which mathematics can be taught and learned.