Lynsey Gibbons

Assistant Professor

Dr. Lynsey Gibbons’ research focuses on understanding teacher learning, and considering how schools can be reorganized to support teachers’ learning and development of high quality instructional practices that are productive for student learning. Central to this effort is unpacking the roles of instructional leaders in supporting teachers’ development, and considering how to assist instructional leaders to organize their schools for learning. This work is informed by a vision of teaching mathematics that includes eliciting and building on children’s thinking as they attempt to solve challenging tasks, while holding children accountable to learning goals. She collaborates with a team of mathematics educators, practitioners, and leaders to design professional learning experiences for elementary mathematics teachers that support vibrant intellectual communities for both students and teachers.

Prior to joining Boston University, Dr. Gibbons was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. She worked as a math coach and upper elementary teacher in Lexington, KY.

Ph.D., Mathematics Education, Vanderbilt University

M.Ed., Educational Leadership, University of Kentucky

B.S., Elementary Education, Asbury University

CAS MA107: Mathematical Reasoning in the Elementary Grades: Number Systems

CAS MA108: Mathematical Reasoning in the Elementary Grades: Algebra, Geometry, and Statistics

SED ME 545: Elementary Mathematics Methods

SED ME 702: Advanced Study of Mathematics and Science Teaching and Teacher Education

Current Grants

Principal Investigator, Understanding How Elementary Teachers Take Up Discussion Practices to Promote Disciplinary Learning and Equity, 2018-2022

Co-PIs: Andrea Bien, Eve Manz, Cathy O’Connor, Ann Rosebery,  Beth Warren, Annie Wilhelm

James S. McDonnell Foundation, $2,500,000

Our project seeks to understand how teachers learn to use classroom discourse in service of two goals that may be mutually supportive or in conflict: (i) engaging students in deep discipline-based learning, and (ii) disrupting transmissionist views of knowledge that assign capability to students based on how they demonstrate privileged ways of speaking, reasoning, and knowing. The work of elementary teachers involves added complexity, because these teachers must learn to orchestrate talk across several disciplines. While researchers in mathematics, English Language Arts (ELA), and science education have identified discipline-specific discussion moves, little is understood about how elementary teachers make sense of, coordinate, or experience contradictions in their development of discussion practices across content areas. This work is essential for understanding teacher learning and designing effective professional learning environments. In Phase 1, we will develop a description of the complexity that elementary teachers manage as they elicit and work with students’ ideas in discussion within and across the three disciplines. In Phase 2, we will design a study of teachers’ professional learning. We will co-design a professional learning model with district and school leaders to examine how elementary teachers learn to orchestrate discussion across the content areas while surfacing and discussing issues related to equity.

Co-Principal Investigator, The Elementary Mathematics Project, 2016-2021

Suzanne Chapin, PI; Ziv Feldman, Co-PI

NSF, $2,000,000

The Elementary Mathematics Project (EMP) is designed to improve the mathematics preparation of future elementary teachers through the development of curricula and corresponding educative instructor support materials. The goals of the EMP Project are to: 1) develop and test nationally four instructional units on whole number concepts, whole number operations, geometry and decimals; 2) develop and test interactive, web-based PD materials for instructors focused on instructional practices; 3) increase pre-service teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching whole number, decimal and geometry content; and 4) increase instructors’ knowledge and enactment of instructional practices as a result of using the EMP units and professional development supports.

Visit Dr. Gibbons' Faculty Profile
Dr. Lynsey Gibbons’s Math Labs provides space for teachers to innovate and collaborate

Research Articles and Chapters

Gibbons, L. K., Wilhelm, A. G., & Cobb, P. A. (2019). Examining how coaches and principals work together to support the improvement of instruction. Journal of School Leadership. DOI: 1052684619836824

Gibbons, L. K., Feldman, Z., Chapin, S., Batista, L. N., Starks, R., Vazquez-Aguilar, M. (2018). Facilitation practice in mathematics teacher education that promote productive identities in preservice elementary teachersMathematics Teacher Education and Development, 20(3), 20-40.

Gibbons, L. K. & Cobb, P. (2017). Focusing on teacher learning opportunities to identify potentially productive coaching activities. Journal of Teacher Education, 68(4), 411-425.

Gibbons, L. K., Kazemi, E., & Lewis, R. (2017). Developing collective capacity to improve mathematics instruction: Coaching as a lever for school-wide improvement. Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 46, 231-250.

Jackson, K., Gibbons, L. K., Sharpe, C. (2017). Teachers’ views of students’ mathematical capabilities:  A challenge for accomplishing ambitious reform. Teachers’ College Record, 119(7).

Gibbons, L. K. & Cobb, P. (2016). Content-focused coaching: Five Key Practices. Elementary School Journal, 117(2), 237-259.

Boston, M. D., Henrick, E. C., Gibbons, L. K., Berebitsky, D., Colby, G. (2016). Investigating how to support principals as instructional leaders in mathematics. Journal of Research on Leadership Education 11(1), 1-32.

Jackson, K., Garrison, A., Wilson, J., Gibbons, L. K., & Shahan, E. (2013). Exploring Relationships Between Setting Up Complex Tasks and Opportunities to Learn in Concluding Whole-Class Discussions in Middle-Grades Mathematics Instruction. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 44(4), 646-682.

Practitioner Articles and Chapters

Gibbons, L. K., Knapp, M., Lind, T. (2018). Coaching through focusing on student thinking. Teaching Children Mathematics 15(1), 24-29.

Kazemi, E., Gibbons, L. K., Lewis, R., Fox, A., Hintz, A., Kelly-Peterson, M., Cunard, A., Lomax, K., Lenges, A., Balf, R. (2018).  Math Labs: Teachers, teacher educators and school leaders learning together with and from their own students. Journal of Mathematics Educational Leadership, 19(1), 23-36.

Gibbons, L. K., & Wedekind, K. O. (2018). Choral Counting in the Primary Grades. In E. Kazemi, M. Franke, & Turrou, A. (Eds.) Counting Matters. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.

Gibbons, L. K., Kazemi, E., Hintz, A., Hartmann, E. (2017). Teacher Time Out: Educators learning together in and through practice. Journal of Mathematics Educational Leadership, 18(2), 28-46.

Gibbons, L. K. & Knapp, M. (2015). Promoting Professional Growth: How Instructional Leaders Create Opportunities for Talking about Teaching and Learning. Journal for School Development, 36(3), 14-19.

Kazemi, E., Gibbons, L. K., Lomax, K., Franke, M. (October, 2016). Listening and learning from student thinking: An assessment approach to guide instructional decisions. Teaching Children Mathematics, 23(3), 182-190.

Hintz, A., Gibbons, L.K., & Knapp, M. (2015). Beyond the right answersEducational Leadership, 73(1).

Lewis, R., Gibbons, L. K., Kazemi, E., Lind, T. (2015). Unwrapping Students Ideas about Fractions. Teaching Children Mathematics, 2(3) 158-168.

Jackson, K. Shahan, E., Gibbons, L. K., Cobb, P. (2012). Launching complex tasks. Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School 18(1), 24-29. *Research to Practice Outstanding Publication Award, NCTM 2014

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