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, classroom teaching) 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 has identified the necessary knowledge for teaching early algebra in elementary school from a cross-cultural perspective. This is documented in her recent book, Teaching Early Algebra through Example-Based Problem Solving: Insights from Chinese and U.S. Elementary Classrooms.

Research Interests

  • Curriculum
  • Mathematics Education
  • Teacher Knowledge

Courses Taught




EPSY 8627

Introduction to Research Design and Methods


EDUC 5262

Introduction to Qualitative Research


ECED 3107

Learning Mathematics for the Primary Grades: First through Fourth Grade


ECED 3207

Mathematics and Science Pedagogical Content Knowledge


Selected Publications

  • Ding, M., Byrnes, J., & Ke, X. (2023). Rethinking the role of “quality instruction” in predicting algebraic learning within an opportunity-propensity framework: An exploratory cross-cultural study. Journal of Educational Psychology, 115(2), pp. 241-266. American Psychological Association (APA). doi: 10.1037/edu0000767

  • Ding, M., Li, X., Manfredonia, M.L., & Luo, W. (2022). US and Chinese elementary teachers' noticing of cross-cultural mathematics videos. JOURNAL of MATHEMATICS TEACHER EDUCATION. doi: 10.1007/s10857-021-09526-z

  • Ding, M., Li, X., Hassler, R., & Barnett, E. (2021). Understanding the properties of operations: a cross-cultural analysis. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 52(1), pp. 39-64. doi: 10.1080/0020739X.2019.1657595

  • Ding, M., Hassler, R., & Li, X. (2021). Cognitive instructional principles in elementary mathematics classrooms: a case of teaching inverse relations. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 52(8), pp. 1195-1224. doi: 10.1080/0020739X.2020.1749319

  • Ding, M. (2021). Teaching early algebra through example-based problem solving insights from chinese and u.S. elementary classrooms. (pp. 1-204). doi: 10.4324/9781003001713

  • 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

  • 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