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 4207

Mathematics and Science Pedagogical Content Knowledge


ECED 5107

Mathematics Education for the Early Years: PreK-4


EPSY 8627

Introduction to Research Design and Methods


EDUC 5262

Introduction to Qualitative Research


Selected Publications

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Cai, J., Ding, M., & Wang, T. (2014). How do exemplary Chinese and U.S. mathematics teachers view instructional coherence.? Educational Studies in Mathematics, 85(2), pp. 265-280. doi: 10.1007/s10649-013-9513-3

  • Ding, M. & Li, X. (2014). Transition from concrete to abstract representations: The distributive property in a Chinese textbook series. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 87(1), pp. 103-121. doi: 10.1007/s10649-014-9558-y

  • Ding, M. & Li, X. (2014). Facilitating and direct guidance in student-centered classrooms: Addressing "lines or pieces" difficulty. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 26(2), pp. 353-376. doi: 10.1007/s13394-013-0095-2