2021 Early Career Award Recipient
The purpose of the Early Career award is to recognize a mathematics teacher educator who, while early in their career, has made distinguished contributions and shows exceptional potential for leadership in one or more areas of teaching, service, and/or scholarship.
Lynsey Gibbons | Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education | Boston University
A deep respect for teachers and students drives the work of Lynsey Gibbons, who is an educator and researcher. It was in her mathematics content course for elementary teachers, taken during her freshman year of college, that she became intensely curious about students’ mathematical thinking and the work of teachers to support that thinking. After graduating from Asbury University, Gibbons began teaching elementary students. While teaching, she pursued a master’s degree in educational leadership at the University of Kentucky and then became a mathematics coach at an elementary school. She began asking questions about how to support teacher learning and decided to pursue a doctorate at Vanderbilt University where she could explore these questions. After receiving her doctorate, she pursued a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington.
Gibbons is currently an assistant professor of mathematics education at Boston University and will be joining the faculty at the University of Delaware in 2021. Her scholarship seeks to understand how teachers can be provided with rich opportunities to learn how to teach in ways that respond to children’s brilliance and position them as capable sensemakers. In her research, Gibbons seeks to explore teacher learning through an organizational and systems perspective with special attention to professional learning routines, the roles of instructional leaders such as principals and coaches, and the role of coherent learning events that occur within the system. She works alongside teachers to understand the interrelation of their instructional practices and school-wide efforts to support them. To that end, her research focuses on designing for, facilitating, and examining teacher learning; specifying the practices of those who support teacher learning; and identifying tools and resources to support instructional leaders and teacher educators. She has written numerous articles about these topics in a number of journals, including The Elementary School Journal, Journal of Mathematical Behavior, Journal of Teacher Education, Journal of School Leadership, and Mathematics Teacher Education and Development. Gibbons has also published numerous articles in Teaching Children Mathematics, Educational Leadership, and other journals whose primary audience are teachers and school leaders.
Gibbons teaches content and methods courses for prospective elementary teachers, and doctoral seminars in mathematics teaching and teacher education. In the Boston area, Gibbons has worked alongside district leaders, principals, and coaches across seven school districts to engage in the work of organizing job-embedded professional learning for teachers. What she loves most about this work is that it situates her to continuously learn about students’ mathematical thinking and teachers’ lived experiences. Gibbons is currently working with coaches and elementary teachers to consider how to engage students in deep disciplinary ways of knowing through discussion, while attending to the power dynamics that exist in classroom discussions and considering the resulting inequities for children.