Erik Jacobson

Erik Jacobson

Associate Professor, Mathematics Education


  • B.A., Mathematics, Dartmourth College, 2004
  • M.A., Mathematics, University of Georgia, 2011
  • Ph.D., Mathematics Education, University of Georgia, 2013

Research interests

My research explores how teachers develop mathematical proficiency for teaching from professional experiences (i.e., in preparation programs, with colleagues in schools, and in professional development). Following Kilpatrick, Swafford, and Findell (2001), I define mathematical proficiency for teaching to include both knowledge and dispositions (cognitive and non-cognitive skills) and hypothesize that these components interact and develop together. Teachers are increasingly seen as the key to improving educational quality, yet little is known about how they learn the knowledge they use in their work or about the role of teachers’ dispositions in learning or using this knowledge. My approach to the problem has been influenced by recent work identifying and measuring the mathematical knowledge that teachers use in practice, by theories of motivation that link knowledge use and acquisition to social contexts, and by the power of quantitative methods to describe educational phenomena at scale.

In one study (Jacobson & Izsák, 2013), I used interview techniques to study prospective teachers' conceptual change during a university methods course. In another, I used hierarchical linear models of survey data from the Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics to describe the associations between future U.S. Grade K-6 teachers’ student teaching experiences and their knowledge and beliefs about mathematics, teaching, and learning at the end of their teacher education program (Jacobson, 2013). I am currently exploring the hypothesis that specific grade level experience is consequential for developing mathematical proficiency for teaching at particular grade levels by using a mixed-methods, longitudinal approach to compare Grade 6 and 7 teachers who teach multiplicative reasoning topics with Grade 8 teachers who do not.

Representative publications

Diagnosing teachers’ understandings of rational numbers: Building a multidimensional test within the diagnostic classification framework (2014)
Laine Bradshaw, Andrew Izsák, Jonathan Templin and Erik Jacobson
Educational measurement: Issues and practice, 33 (1), 2-14

Measuring mathematical knowledge for teaching fractions with drawn quantities (2012)
Andrew Izsák, Erik Jacobson, Zandra de Araujo and Chandra Hawley Orrill
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 43 (4), 391-427

Middle school teachers’ knowledge of proportional reasoning for teaching (2011)
Joanne Lobato, C Orrill, Bridget Druken and Erik Jacobson
Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), New Orleans, LA. Abstract retrieved from http://www. kaputcenter. umassd. edu/downloads/products/workshops/AERA2011/Lobato_Orrill_Druk en_Erikson_AERA_2011. pdf,

Understanding teacher affect, knowledge, and instruction over time: An agenda for research on productive disposition for teaching mathematics (2015)
Erik Jacobson and Jeremy Kilpatrick
Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 18 (5), 401-406

Knowledge and motivation as mediators in mathematics teaching practice: The case of drawn models for fraction arithmetic (2015)
Erik Jacobson and Andrew Izsák
Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 18 (5), 467-488

Teachers' conceptions of integrated mathematics curricula (2013)
Zandra de Araujo, Erik Jacobson, Laura Singletary, Patricia Wilson, Laura Lowe and Anne Marie Marshall
School Science and Mathematics, 113 (6), 285-296

Preservice teachers' reasoning about relationships that are and are not proportional: A Knowledge-in-Pieces Account (2017)
Andrew Izsák and Erik Jacobson
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 48 (3), 300-339

Field experience and prospective teachers' mathematical knowledge and beliefs (2017)
Erik D Jacobson
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 48 (2), 148-190

The interaction between measure design and construct development: Building validity arguments (2016)
Erik Jacobson, J Remillard, Mark Hoover and Wendy Aaron
Psychometric methods in mathematics education: Opportunities, challenges, and interdisciplinary collaborations, 155-173

Understanding teachers’ inferences of proportionality between quantities that form a constant difference or constant product (2013)
A Izsák and E Jacobson
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Research Presession, Denver, CO,

Mathematics teachers' professional experience and the development of mathematical proficiency for teaching (2013)
Erik Daniel Jacobson

Using covariation reasoning to support mathematical modeling (2014)
Erik Jacobson
MatheMatics teacher, 107 (7), 515-519

Too little, too early (2009)
Erik Jacobson
Teaching Children Mathematics, 16 (2), 68-71

Middle school teachers’ use of mathematics to make sense of student solutions to proportional reasoning problems (2018)
Erik Jacobson, Joanne Lobato and Chandra H Orrill
International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 16 (8), 1541-1559

Utilizing the M-Scan to measure standards-based mathematics teaching practices: affordances and limitations (2018)
Temple A Walkowiak, Robert Q Berry, Holly H Pinter and Erik D Jacobson
ZDM, 50 (3), 461-474