Dr. Meixia Ding's research and teaching focus on elementary mathematics education, an interest she developed through five years of mathematics teaching in China. More specifically, she focuses on how the instructional environment (e.g., teacher knowledge, curriculum) can be better structured to develop students’ sophisticated understanding of fundamental mathematical ideas (e.g., basic properties, relationships, and structures), which may lay a foundation for students’ future learning of more advanced topics like algebra. Her work has been supported by the National Science Foundation through its prestigious CAREER award. With this support, she currently explores the necessary knowledge for teaching early algebra in elementary school from a cross-cultural perspective.

Research Interests

  • Curriculum
  • Mathematics Education
  • Teacher Knowledge

Courses Taught




ECED 3107

Learning Mathematics for the Primary Grades: First through Fourth Grade


ECED 4207

Mathematics and Science Pedagogical Content Knowledge


EDUC 5262

Introduction to Qualitative Research


EPSY 8627

Introduction to Research Design and Methods


Selected Publications

  • Ding, M., Hassler, R., & Li, X. (2020). Cognitive instructional principles in elementary mathematics classrooms: a case of teaching inverse relations. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology. doi: 10.1080/0020739X.2020.1749319

  • Ding, M., Chen, W., & Hassler, R.S. (2019). Linear quantity models in US and Chinese elementary mathematics classrooms. Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 21(2), pp. 105-130. doi: 10.1080/10986065.2019.1570834

  • Ding, M., Li, X., Hassler, R., & Barnett, E. (2019). Understanding the properties of operations: a cross-cultural analysis. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology. doi: 10.1080/0020739X.2019.1657595

  • Barnett, E. & Ding, M. (2019). Teaching of the associative property: A natural classroom investigation. Investigations in Mathematics Learning, 11(2), pp. 148-166. doi: 10.1080/19477503.2018.1425592

  • Chen, W. & Ding, M. (2018). Transition from Textbook to Classroom Instruction in Mathematics: The Case of an Expert Chinese Teacher. Frontiers of Education in China, 13(4), pp. 601-632. doi: 10.1007/s11516-018-0031-z

  • Ding, M. & Heffernan, K. (2018). Transferring specialized content knowledge to elementary classrooms: preservice teachers’ learning to teach the associative property. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 49(6), pp. 899-921. doi: 10.1080/0020739X.2018.1426793

  • Ding, M. & Auxter, A.E. (2017). Children’s strategies to solving additive inverse problems: a preliminary analysis. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 29(1), pp. 73-92. doi: 10.1007/s13394-017-0188-4

  • Cai, J. & Ding, M. (2017). On mathematical understanding: perspectives of experienced Chinese mathematics teachers. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 20(1), pp. 5-29. doi: 10.1007/s10857-015-9325-8

  • Ding, M. (2016). Developing preservice elementary teachers’ specialized content knowledge: the case of associative property. International Journal of STEM Education, 3(1). doi: 10.1186/s40594-016-0041-4

  • Ding, M. (2016). Opportunities to Learn: Inverse Relations in U.S. and Chinese Textbooks. Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 18(1), pp. 45-68. doi: 10.1080/10986065.2016.1107819

  • Knoell, C.M., Strawhecker, J.E., Montgomery, D.J., & Ding, M. (2015). Perceptions of Elementary Preservice Teachers’ Mathematical Knowledge and Number Sense. Eastern Education Journal, 43(1), pp. 26-41.

  • Ding, M., Li, Y., Li, X., & Gu, J. (2015). Specialized content knowledge for teaching beyond rule: The case of transforming equivalent fraction. In S. Li & Y. Li (Eds.), Curriculum, teacher, and classroom: Comparative analysis of the U.S. and Chinese curriculum reform (pp. 43-60). Beijing Normal University Press.