Department/SpecializationMathematics, Statistics & Computer Science
Alison Castro Superfine, an associate professor in learning sciences and in mathematics education, also serves as the director of the Office of Mathematics Education in UIC's Mathematics, Statistics & Computer Science department. Her interests focus on two main areas of education research. The first involves the enactment of K to 8 mathematics curricula in the classroom, focusing on the interactions between teachers and math curricula while questioning the trajectory of teachers' curriculum use, and how and under what conditions use changes over time. Castro Superfine's second area of research involves preservice mathematics teacher education, focusing on understanding the work of mathematics teacher educators and how they support preservice teacher learning of content and the nature of the mathematical knowledge needed for teaching teachers. Castro Superfine teaches mathematics content courses for elementary preservice teachers, and uses the courses as sites for inquiry into learning in formal contexts. She is PI and Co-PI on several NSF- and IES-funded projects, and she received the UIC teaching award for outstanding performance.
My research focuses on two primary areas - designing environments for preservice mathematics teacher education to support the development of mathematical knowledge for teaching, and exploring the relationship between the design of mathematics curriculum materials and teachers’ implementation. Both of these research areas are particularly united by an emphasis on design in mathematics education. In the area of preservice teacher education, I broadly design video-based tools, mathematical tasks and related activities to improve the mathematical preparation of preservice teachers. In the area of mathematics curriculum, I do not design mathematics curriculum materials per se, but rather study how the design of the curriculum influences how teachers use the materials to inform their instruction and ultimately student learning. This information then informs subsequent revisions to the curriculum materials. As such, my research has important implications for the design of preservice mathematics learning environments, especially for ways to support content knowledge development, and the design of K to 12 mathematics curricula.
Castro Superfine, A., Marshall, A., & Kelso, C. (under review). Assessing how mathematics curriculum materials mediate teachers’ implementation of the intended curriculum: An exploratory study. School Science and Mathematics.
Castro Superfine, A., Li, W., & Bragelman, J. (under review). Reflecting on the use of video to support preservice elementary teachers’ noticing of children’s thinking. Teaching and Teacher Education.
Castro Superfine, A., & Pitvorec, K. (under review). Building a knowledge base for mathematics teacher education: Examining the role of one mathematics teacher educator’sproblems of practice. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education.
Castro Superfine, A., Li, W., & Martinez, M. (2013). Developing preservice teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching: Making explicit design considerations for a content course. Mathematics Teacher Educator, 2(1).
Martinez, M., & Castro Superfine, A. (2012). Integrating algebra and proof in high school: Students’ work with multiple variables and a single parameter when conjecturing and proving.Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 14(2), 120-148.
Martinez, M., Brizuela, B., & Castro Superfine, A. (2011). Integrating algebra and proof in high school: An exploratory study. Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 30, 30-47. Castro Superfine, A., Kelso, C., & Beal, S. (2010). Examining the practice of developing a research-based mathematics curriculum and its policy implications. Educational Policy, 24, 908-934.
Marshall, A. M., Castro Superfine, A., & Canty, R. (2010). The case of Ms. Beyer: One teacher’s strategies for making connections among representations in a first-grade classroom. Teaching Children Mathematics, 7(1), 38-47.
Castro Superfine, A., & Wagreich, P. (2010). Developing mathematics knowledge for teaching in a content course: A design experiment involving mathematics educators and mathematicians.In D. Mewborn (Ed.), Scholarly practices and inquiry in the preparation of mathematics teachers (pp. 15-27). San Diego, CA: Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators.
Castro Superfine, A., Canty, R., & Marshall, A. (2009). Translating between representational systems: All-or-nothing or skill conglomerate.Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 28, 217-236.
Castro Superfine, A. (2009). The “problem” of experience in mathematics teaching. School Science and Mathematics, 109(1),7-19.
Castro Superfine, A. (2008). Planning for mathematics instruction: A model of experienced teachers’ planning processes in the context of a reform mathematics curriculum. The Mathematics Educator, 18(2), 11-22.
Castro, A. (2007). Preparing elementary preservice teachers to use mathematics curriculum materials. The Mathematics Educator, 16(2), 14-24.
Silver, E. A., Mills, V., Castro, A., & Ghousseini, H. (2006). Blending elements of lesson study and case analysis and discussion: A promising professional development synergy. In K. Lynch-Davis & R. L. Ryder (Eds.), The work of mathematics teacher educators: Continuing the conversation (pp. 117-132). San Diego, CA: Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators