2021 Susan Gay Travel Scholarship Recipient
Indiana University, Bloomington
Jinqing Liu is a Ph.D. candidate who expects to receive her Ph.D. in mathematics education from Indiana University Bloomington in May 2021. Jinqing is an experienced K-12 math teacher and teacher educator. She has provided one-to-one tutoring to dozens of at-risk students in mathematics with positive results in terms of their mathematical achievements for more than ten years. She has taught mathematical content courses, mathematics methods courses, and field experience to pre-service teachers (PSTs) for several years at Indiana University Bloomington. Also, she worked in two professional development projects that served dozens of local elementary teachers and an NSF research project that surveyed the structure of knowledge of thousands of elementary teachers in teaching mathematics using a new measure that the project team has developed.
Jinqing’s career goal is to improve student achievement and reduce achievement gaps in STEM fields through understanding and promoting pre- and in-service elementary educators’ professional development. She has conducted research on how psychological, affective, and cognitive factors influence the teaching and learning of mathematics. To date, she has published six refereed journal articles, one book chapter, one book review, and eleven refereed conference proceedings, focusing on the learning and teaching of fractions and on the relationships between teachers’ identity, beliefs, emotions, self-efficacy, teacher-student relationship, professional noticing, mathematical knowledge for teaching and mathematics instructional quality. She has also presented in top international and national disciplinary conferences 25 times, including AERA, AMTE, ICME, NCTM, and PME-NA. Her work has been supported and encouraged by faculty mentors Dr. Erik Jacobson, Dr. Dionne Cross Francis, Dr. Enrique Galindo, and Dr. Erik Tillema.
Currently, Jinqing’s research focuses on identifying effective strategies to advance PSTs’ knowledge for teaching fractions, one of the most sophisticated mathematics topics at the elementary level. Specifically, she designed and implemented an intervention in which PSTs worked together to write argumentations for 20 fraction comparison strategies. She found compelling evidence that the deep focus on fraction comparison over the eight-week intervention helped the PSTs achieve robust understandings of a range of fraction topics, be more flexible in using adaptive fraction comparison strategies and score higher in the fraction test. These results indicate that the intervention works for these PSTs and intensive working on expanding PSTs' conceptual understanding of fractions by comparing fractions in multiple strategies can advance PSTs' fraction proficiency. Her next step is to explore how increasing PSTs’ fraction proficiency influences their instruction quality of fractions in elementary classrooms. As a researcher and teacher educator, Jinqing commits herself to promote high-quality fraction education nationwide through research and practice.