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Dr. Deborah Loewenberg Ball

Dr. Deborah Loewenberg Ball, University of Michigan

Deborah Loewenberg Ball is the William H. Payne Collegiate Professor of Education at the University of Michigan, an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, and the founding Director of TeachingWorks. Ball taught elementary school for more than 15 years, and continues to teach mathematics to elementary students every summer. Her research focuses on the practice of mathematics instruction, and on the improvement of teacher training and development. She is an expert on teacher education, with a particular interest in how professional training and experience combine to equip beginning teachers with the skills and knowledge needed for responsible practice. Ball is the author or co-author of more than 150 publications and has lectured and made numerous major presentations around the world. Her research has been recognized with several awards and honors, and she has served on several national and international commissions and panels focused on policy initiatives and the improvement of education, including the National Mathematics Advisory Panel and the Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education.

She serves on the National Science Board and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute board of trustees, chairs the Spencer Foundation board of directors, and is the President-Elect of the American Educational Research Association. Ball has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Education, and is a fellow of the American Mathematics Society and the American Educational Research Association. She completed 11 years as Dean of the U-M School of Education in June 2016.

Keynote Abstract

Learning To See, Connect With and Build Students’ Resources

Teaching effectively depends on building on students’ strengths and using what they already know and can do to support their development. However, teachers can miss what students bring, especially given that they are inherently working across differences of culture, race, language, age, gender identity and national origin. A paradox is that, without knowing mathematics well, teachers can easily not notice students’ mathematical ideas and practices, yet teachers’ knowledge can also obscure from view students’ different ways of approaching and thinking about math. In this presentation, we will explore ways in which teachers can sharpen their ability to see and hear their students’ mathematical strengths and resources.

For more information about Dr. Ball’s work, visit her website.


The Math Summit is made possible thanks to a partnership between SAS and Triangle High Five, a collaborative of five NC public school systems serving more than 234,000 students.  Please note, this free event is restricted to public school educators in the Triangle High Five districts and is by invitation only.

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