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 3107

Learning Mathematics for the Primary Grades: First through Fourth Grade


ECED 3207

Mathematics and Science Pedagogical Content Knowledge


ECED 4207

Mathematics and Science Pedagogical Content Knowledge


Selected Publications

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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. & Carlson, M.A. (2013). Elementary teachers learning to construct high-quality mathematics lesson plans: A use of the IES recommendations. Elementary School Journal, 113(3), pp. 359-385. doi: 10.1086/668505

  • Ding, M., Li, X., & Capraro, M.M. (2013). Preservice elementary teachers' knowledge for teaching the associative property of multiplication: A preliminary analysis. Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 32(1), pp. 36-52. doi: 10.1016/j.jmathb.2012.09.002

  • Ding, M., Li, X., Capraro, M.M., & Kulm, G. (2012). A Case Study of Teacher Responses to a Doubling Error and Difficulty in Learning Equivalent Fractions. Investigations in Mathematics Learning, 4(2), pp. 42-73. doi: 10.1080/24727466.2012.11790312

  • Ding, M., Li, Y., Li, X., & Gu, J. (2012). Knowing and understanding instructional mathematics content through intensive studies of textbooks. In How Chinese Teach Mathematics and Improve Teaching (pp. 66-82). doi: 10.4324/9780203110119

  • Ding, M., Li, X., Capraro, M.M., & Capraro, R.M. (2012). Supporting meaningful initial learning of the associative property: cross-cultural differences in textbook presentations. Jornal Internacional De Estudos Em Educação Matemática, 5(1), pp. 114-130.

  • Ding, M., Heaton, R., & Hartman, D. (2012). Teaching Middle Level Students to Generalize: From Implicit to Explicit. Investigations in Mathematics Learning, 5(2), pp. 14-43. doi: 10.1080/24727466.2012.11790321

  • Matthews, M. & Ding, M. (2011). Common Mathematical Errors of Pre-Service Elementary School Teachers in an Undergraduate Course. Mathematics and Computer Education, 45(3), pp. 186-196. Mathematics and Computer Education. Retrieved from

  • Ding, M., Li, Y., Li, X., & Kulm, G. (2010). Chinese teachers' attributions and coping strategies for student classroom misbehaviour. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 30(3), pp. 321-337. doi: 10.1080/02188791.2010.495832

  • Ding, M. & Li, X. (2010). A comparative analysis of the distributive property in U.S. and Chinese elementary mathematics textbooks. Cognition and Instruction, 28(1), pp. 146-180. doi: 10.1080/07370001003638553

  • Ding, M., Li, Y., Li, X., & Kulm, G. (2008). Chinese teachers' perceptions of students' classroom misbehaviour. Educational Psychology, 28(3), pp. 305-324. doi: 10.1080/01443410701537866

  • Li, X., Ding, M., Capraro, M.M., & Capraro, R.M. (2008). Sources of differences in children's understandings of mathematical equality: Comparative analysis of teacher guides and student texts in China and the United States. Cognition and Instruction, 26(2), pp. 195-217. doi: 10.1080/07370000801980845

  • Capraro, R.M., Capraro, M.M., Ding, M., & Li, X. (2007). Thirty years of research: interpretations of the equal sign in China and the USA. Psychol Rep, 101(3 Pt 1), pp. 784-786. United States. doi: 10.2466/pr0.101.3.784-786

  • Capraro, M.M., Ding, M., Matteson, S., Capraro, R.M., & Li, X. (2007). Representational Implications for Understanding Equivalence. School Science and Mathematics, 107(3), p. 86. School Science and Mathematics. Retrieved from

  • Ding, M., Li, X., Piccolo, D., & Kulm, G. (2007). Teacher interventions in cooperative-learning mathematics classes. Journal of Educational Research, 100(3), pp. 162-175. doi: 10.3200/JOER.100.3.162-175

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