Natasha Speer

Associate Professor of Mathematics Education

Member of the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education (RiSE Center) and the Mathematics Education Research Group (MERG) at University of Maine

234 Neville Hall
(207) 581.3937
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  • Ph.D. Mathematics, Science, and Technology, University of California at Berkeley, 2001
  • M.A.T. Mathematics Education, Cornell University, 1990
  • A.B. Mathematics, Cornell University. 1989


Natasha graduated in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, and in 1990 with a master’s degree in mathematics education from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. In 2001, she received her Ph.D. in Education in Mathematics, Science, and Technology at the University of California at Berkeley. She has been a member of the Physics Education Research Laboratory since 2009.

Currently, she is working on video cases for novice college mathematics instructor professional development and the project “On The Job Learning: Graduate Student Instructors’ Development of Knowledge for Teaching,” which seeks to study newly formed teaching-related knowledge in novice college physics instructors.

Natasha is and has been teaching the courses Calculus I (MAT 126), Mathematics for Secondary School Teachers (MAT 305), Integrated Approaches in Mathematics Education I and II (SMT 505/506), as well as the Mathematics Teaching Assistant Teaching & Learning Seminar (MAT 500).

In her research, Natasha examines the influence that mathematical knowledge for teaching has on college mathematics instructors’ teaching practices.

Recent Publications:

Dorko, A. & Speer, N. (2015). Deepening Students’ Understanding of Area and Volume by Focusing on Units and Arrays, Journal of the California Mathematics Project, Vo. 7, 7-14.

Bragdon, D., Pandiscio, E., & Speer, N. (to appear, 2017). University Students’ Graph Interpretation and Comprehension Abilities, Investigations in Mathematics Learning.

Hauk, S., Speer, N. M., Kung, D., Tsay, J.-J., & Hsu, E. (Eds.) (2015). Video Cases for College Mathematics Instructor Professional Development.

Deshler, J., Hauk, S., & Speer, N. (June/July, 2015). Mathematics Graduate Students: Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Professional Development for Teaching in the U.S., Notices of the American Mathematics Society, 62(6), 638-643.

Dorko, A. & Speer, N. (2015). Calculus students’ understanding of area and volume units. Investigations in Mathematics Learning, 8(1), 23-46.

Speer, N., King, K. & Howell, H. (2014). Definitions of mathematical knowledge for teaching: Using these constructs in research on secondary and college mathematics teachers, Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 18(2), 105-122.

Dorko, A. & Speer, N. (2014). Calculus students’ understanding of volume. Investigations in Mathematics Learning, 6(2), 48-68.

Kung, D. & Speer, N. (2013). Do they really get it? Evaluating evidence of student understanding of power series, PRIMUS: Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies, 23:5, 419-433, DOI: 10.1080/10511970.2012.736122.

Speer, N., Smith, J., & Horvath, A. (2010). Collegiate mathematics teaching: An unexamined practice, Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 29(2), 99-114. (PDF)

Speer, N. & Wagner, J. (2009). Knowledge needed by a teacher to provide analytic scaffolding during undergraduate mathematics classroom discussions, Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 40(5), 530-565. (PDF)

Kung, D. & Speer, N. (2009). Teaching assistants learning to teach: Recasting early teaching experiences as rich learning opportunities, Studies in Graduate and Professional Student Development, 12, 133-152. (PDF)

Speer, N, Gutmann, T., & Murphy, T. J. (2009). Educational research on mathematics graduate student teaching assistants: A decade of substantial progress, Studies in Graduate and Professional Student Development, 12, 1-10. (PDF)

Speer, N. (2008). Collections of beliefs and their relationship to mathematics teachers’ instructional practices, Cognition and Instruction, 26, 218-267. (PDF)

Speer, N., & Hald, O. (2008). How do mathematicians learn to teach? Implications from research on teachers and teaching for graduate student professional development. In M. Carlson and C. Rasmussen (Eds.), Making the Connection: Research to Practice in Undergraduate Mathematics Education (pp. 305-318). Washington: Mathematical Association of America. (PDF)

Wagner, J., Speer, N., & Rossa, B. (2007). Beyond mathematical content knowledge: A mathematician’s knowledge needed for teaching an inquiry-oriented differential equations course. Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 26, 247-266. (PDF)

Speer, N. (2005). Issues of methods and theory in the study of mathematics teachers’ professed and attributed beliefs. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 58(3), 361 – 391. (PDF)

Speer, N, Gutmann, T., & Murphy, T. J. (2005). Mathematics teaching assistant preparation and development. College Teaching, 53(2), 75-80. (PDF)

Speer, N. (2004). Meeting the changing needs of mathematics graduate student teaching assistants: The evolution of professional development activities for instruction using collaborative groups. Journal of Faculty Development, 20(1).

Robert, A. & Speer, N. (2001). Research on the teaching and learning of calculus/elementary analysis. In Holton, D. (Ed.) The Teaching and Learning of Mathematics at University Level: An ICMI Study (Vol. 7, p.283-299).  Dordrecht & Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers. (PDF)