NYU Steinhardt News

Karen King Wins NSF Grant to Study Teachers' Use of Math Textbooks

The choice of which mathematics textbook works best for middle school instruction has long been a point of argument among educators. School district administrators tend to believe that textbook selection is the overriding factor in improving student outcomes on math tests.

Karen King, associate professor of mathematics education at the Steinhardt School, seeks to re-frame the debate regarding math instruction by focusing instead on how teachers adapt instructional materials in the classroom. Recently, she was awarded a $998,955 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a mixed-methods research study of math instruction within a school district in New Jersey.

“This project seeks to move the discourse surrounding math textbooks beyond ‘what works?’ toward helping teachers effectively use high quality instructional materials,” says King. “While the choice of textbook is important, I would argue that it is not nearly as important as critics or advocates of certain textbooks would have you believe.”

King's expertise and insight translate beyond the classroom as well. She offered guidance and advice to graduating students this past May as the Steinhardt Doctoral Convocation faculty speaker. Click here to read her remarks.