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San Diego State University

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Lisa Clement Lamb, Associate Professor of Mathematics Education
North Education 93

I joined SDSU’s faculty of Teacher Education as a mathematics educator in 1998. Previously I taught high school mathematics at public schools in Virginia and California. I have focused my research agenda on investigating how students think about mathematics and the power in sharing this information with prospective and practicing teachers. I have studied how investigating children’s mathematical thinking influences prospective and practicing teachers’ beliefs, noticing, and content knowledge and am currently directing a project to investigate grades K-12 students’ understanding of integers {…-3,-2,-1,0,1,2,3,…}. As a mathematics educator housed in a School of Teacher Education, my scholarly activities are focused along two complementary paths—conducting research and communicating findings with the mathematics education research community, and sharing research-based teaching practices with mathematics teachers. I see my role as both producing original research and using that research to influence classroom practice across K-university grade levels.

SDSU/ UCSD     Ph.D.     Mathematics Education
SDSU    M.A.    Mathematics (concentration in 7-14 mathematics education)   
William and Mary    B.S.    Mathematics

Selected Grants
Lamb, L. (PI), Philipp, R.A (co-PI), and Pierson, J. (co-PI), August 2009-July 2012, Mapping Developmental Trajectories of Students' Conceptions of Integers, National Science Foundation Discovery Research K-12.

Making sense of integers is particularly challenging for children and yet is foundational for success with first-year algebra coursework. In this research and development project, we are mapping developmental trajectories of students' conceptions of integers. We will analyze 160 interviews across K-12 students and 30 interviews of specialized adults (those who have revisited their notions of integers by drawing from one of four perspectives: a formal mathematics perspective, a historical mathematical perspective, a children’s mathematical thinking perspective, and a mathematics teacher perspective). Collectively, the conceptions identified across these interviews will help us to map the terrain from informal to expert conceptions of integers.

Because we will identify increasingly sophisticated conceptions, teachers and researchers can use the developmental trajectories to understand students' thinking about integers and to plan next steps to support students' reasoning. To broaden the applicability of our findings, we will use the results from the interviews and subsequent framework to develop an assessment that can be used by teachers and researchers.
Harel, G.(PI), Edwards, B. (co-PI), Lamb, L.(co-PI), and Lawler, B. (co-PI) Math for America San Diego Noyce Fellowship Program, National Science Foundation, 2009-2014

Math for America San Diego (MfA SD) is a five-year program committed to recruiting, training and retaining extraordinary high school mathematics teachers to significantly improve local secondary school students’ understanding of mathematics. MfA SD Fellows receive full tuition and fees for a teaching credential and master’s degree at one of our partner universities (SDSU, UCSD, or CSU San Marcos), $15,000 stipend per year for five years, individualized support of a mentor teacher, and extensive professional development throughout the term of the fellowship. Additionally,  MfA  SD  Fellows receive job placement assistance from San Diego County school districts and begin their teaching career in local high-need high schools.

Contributions to Externally Funded Grants

Research team member, Studying Teachers’ Evolving Perspectives: A Cross-Sectional Snapshot of Teachers Engaged in Sustained Professional Development Focused on Children's Mathematical Thinking (STEP).

In this five-year project, we mapped a learning trajectory for elementary school teachers engaged in sustained professional development.  Through a cross-sectional design, we studied the knowledge, beliefs, and practices of four groups of teachers who were engaged with sustained professional development for different amounts of time, 0 – 7 years. Children’s mathematical thinking and classroom artifacts played prominent roles in our measures, analysis lens, and professional development contexts. 2005-2010. (V. Jacobs and R. Philipp, co-PIs).

Selected Publications

Bishop, J. P., Lamb, L. L. C., Philipp, R. A., Schappelle, B. P., & Whitacre, I. (2011). First graders outwit a famous mathematician. Teaching Children Mathematics, 17, 350–358.
Jacobs, V. R., Lamb, L. L. C., Philipp, R. A., & Schappelle, B. P. (2011).  Deciding how to respond on the basis of children's understandings.  In M. G. Sherin, V. R., Jacobs, & R. A. Philipp (Eds.), Mathematics teacher noticing:  Seeing through teachers' eyes (pp. 97–116).    New York: Routledge.
Jacobs, V.R., Lamb, L.L., Philipp, R.A., & Schappelle, B.P. (2010). Professional Noticing of Children’s Mathematical Thinking. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education.
Pierson, J., Lamb, L., Philipp, R., Schappelle, B., & Whitacre, I. (2010). A Developing Framework for Children’s Reasoning About Integers. In P. Brosnan, D. Erchick, & L. Flevares (Eds.) Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (pp. 695-702). Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University. Downloaded from

Lamb, L, & Jacobs, V (2009). Establishing and maintaining program coherence in a cohort-based graduate program, The Teacher Educator, 4 (2), 126-142.

Lamb, L., Philipp, R., Jacobs, V., & Schappelle, B. (2009). Developing teachers’ stances of inquiry: Studying teachers evolving perspectives, in D. Slavit, T. Holmlund Nelson, & A. Kennedy (Eds), Perspectives on Supported Collaborative Teacher Inquiry, New York: Routledge: Taylor and Francis Group, 16-45.

Lamb, L (2009). What is inquiry and how can one measure it? Research on Collaborative Teacher Inquiry Skamania Conference, Washington State University, Vancouver.

Philipp, R., Ambrose, R., Lamb, L., Sowder, J., Schappelle, B., Sowder, L., Thanheiser, E., & Chauvot, J. (2007). Effects of early field experiences on the mathematical content knowledge and beliefs of prospective elementary school teachers: An experimental study. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 38 (5), 438-476.

Jacobs, V. R., Ambrose, R.C., Clement, L.C,  & Brown, D. (2006) Supporting Teacher Learning: Using Teacher-Produced Videotapes of Student Interviews as Discussion Catalysts, Teaching Children Mathematics, 12 (6), 276-279.

Lamb, L. & Thanheiser, E. (2006). Understanding integers: Using balloons and weights software. In S. Alatorre, J.L. Cortina, M. Sáiz, and A. Méndez (Eds), Proceedings of the 28th annual meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (Vol.2, pp. 163-164).

Mérida, México: Universidad Pedagógica Nacional. Article retrieved on January 23, 2007 from
Clement, L., & Bernhard, J. (2005). A problem-solving alternative to using key words. Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School. 10, (7), 360-364.

Clement, L. (2004). A mathematics teacher’s transition toward inquiry-based discourse in a course for prospective elementary teachers. AMATYC Review, 26 (1), 47-62.
Clement, L. (2004). A model for understanding, using, and connecting representations. Teaching Children Mathematics, 11 (2), 97-102.

Clement, L. (2004). Students’ strategies for finding the area of trapezoids. California Mathematics Communicator, 28 (3), 32-35. 

Clement, L. (2004). Exploring students’ errors in university mathematics classes. Academic Exchange Quarterly, 8 (2), 231-235.

Ambrose, R., Clement, L., Philipp, R., & Chauvot, J. (2004). A methodological approach for developing research rubrics to assess elementary school teachers’ beliefs about mathematics and mathematics learning. School, Science, and Mathematics, 104 (2), 56-69.

Dr. Lamb