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RiSE Colloquium: Natasha Speer

February 7, 2022 @ 3:00 pm4:00 pm

Maine Center for Research in STEM Education (RiSE Center)
Colloquia & Seminar Series


Natasha Speer, Ph.D.

University of Maine
Department of Mathematics & Statistics
Maine Center for Research in STEM Education

Monday, February 7, 3:00–4:00 p.m.
Barrows Hall 119 and Zoom

Building bridges: A review and synthesis of research on teaching knowledge for undergraduate instruction in science, engineering, and mathematics


Research on Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching has helped the education community understand the complex, knowledge-related factors that shape instructors’ practices and the learning opportunities they create for students. Much of this work has occurred in the context of K-12 teaching. Although expanding, research on knowledge for teaching undergraduate mathematics is not extensive. A similar situation exists in science education. To help support these research efforts and theory development, I collaborated with two science education researchers to analyze literature on knowledge for teaching STEM content. Our systematic search for peer-reviewed investigations of teaching knowledge at the undergraduate level yielded 45 papers. Findings from analyses of these papers take the form of cross-disciplinary themes as well as descriptions of how components of knowledge for teaching are defined in different disciplines. Although disciplinary divergences are common in discipline-based education research, the effect is magnified in this research area because the theoretical frameworks are themselves siloed by discipline. Insights from this cross-disciplinary view can assist researchers who wish to leverage work from outside of their own discipline and the analysis also reveals some under-examined areas of knowledge for teaching that might be productive foci for future research in the undergraduate STEM education community.


Natasha’s work focuses on the teaching and learning of college level mathematics, with particular attention to the professional growth of those who are at the beginning of their careers as instructors. She is a co-leader of the College Mathematics Instructor Development Source (CoMInDS) project, supporting faculty who design and provide professional development to novice college mathematics instructors. This effort includes providing access to instructional materials for use in teaching-focused professional development programs and offering workshops to those who design such programs. Her research interests include the various types of knowledge used to do the work of teaching. More specifically, she examines the knowledge of student thinking and specialized content knowledge that instructors need to effectively support students to learn via collaborative groupwork and problem-solving.

To be added to the Colloquium email list and receive the Zoom link and password, please email the RiSE Center:

To request a reasonable accommodation, please contact Natasha Speer by email or phone: 207.581.3937.


February 7, 2022
3:00 pm–4:00 pm
Event Category:


RiSE Center
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