Meghan Shaughnessy

Assistant Professor

Meghan Shaughnessy of BU Wheelock

Dr. Meghan Shaughnessy is an assistant professor of Mathematics Education. Her research focuses on the design and study of practice-intensive approaches to the professional preparation and ongoing learning of teachers and approaches to assessing developing skills with teaching practice. She focuses on teaching practices that are critical for fostering students’ positive mathematical identities and agency.

With colleagues, Dr. Shaughnessy has three projects that are currently funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The Simulations for Learning and Assessing in Teacher Education (SimulaTE) project, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Michigan and Horizon Research Inc. is studying the use of teaching simulations to build preservice teachers’ skills with eliciting and interpreting student’s mathematical thinking as well as their mathematical knowledge for teaching. Simulations represent a potentially significant addition to the approaches available for providing formative feedback and routinely gathering information on preservice teachers’ emerging knowledge and skills. The theory of action that guides this project holds that if we develop and refine simulations with an infrastructure that supports teacher educators in providing timely, interpretable, and actionable feedback to preservice teachers on their skills with teaching practice, then preservice teachers will develop more robust skills with these teaching practices, which in turn can be leveraged on a daily basis to enhance student learning of mathematics. To enhance the viability of simulations as an option in teacher preparation, we are contributing practically, through research supported development of simulations that have routines and tools to support their usability/reliability/validity and scaffolds that support initial ramping into the use of simulations. We are also contributing conceptually by studying how participants perceive of their experiences and the information garnered from simulation performance feedback

The Developing Equitable Discussions project, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Michigan, is designing and studying professional development that seeks to improve elementary teachers’ skills with leading discussions in ways that attend to and disrupt patterns of inequity that are often amplified during classrooms discussions. To do this, the project is (1) developing and enacting professional development that aims to support more equitable discussions in mathematics and literacy, (2) detailing influences on teachers’ professional learning that contribute to improvement in teaching practice, and (3) examining how the subject-matter specificity of the professional development impacts teaching practice in mathematics and literacy elementary classrooms.

The Mentoring Mentors Matters project, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Virginia and the University of Michigan, aims to enhance the quality of elementary mathematics teaching by developing mentors as both teachers and teacher educators, who can, in turn, better support the next generation of teacher candidates. To do this, the project is (1) developing mentor professional development focused on eliciting student thinking in elementary mathematics classrooms, (2) testing the causal impacts of the mentor teachers’ professional development program on mentors’ and candidates’ teaching skills, as well as mentors’ mentoring skills, and (3) building knowledge about the factors that contribute to the differential uptake of the mentor teacher professional development.

Before joining the faculty at Boston University, Dr. Shaughnessy worked as a lead researcher and elementary teacher educator at the University of Michigan for over a decade. She was also involved in the University of Michigan School of Education’s project to redesign its elementary teacher education program to be practice-based, serving as associate chair of the elementary teacher education program for program design and innovation from 2012–2014. Dr. Shaughnessy’s research is deeply rooted in her work as a teacher educator, and she has collaborated nationally and internationally with university-based teacher preparation programs seeking to become practice-based teacher education programs. She has served as the associate vice president for Research for the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators and as a Board Member for the Michigan Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators. In past work, she has studied the development of children’s mathematical thinking. Dr. Shaughnessy co-wrote the book Beyond Pizzas and Pies: 10 Essential Strategies for Supporting Fraction Sense, published by Math Solutions in 2010. She received a PhD in Mathematics Education from the University of California, Berkeley and a BA in Mathematics and Psychology from Wellesley College.

Dr. Shaughnessy co-wrote the book Beyond Pizzas and Pies: 10 Essential Strategies for Supporting Fraction Sense, published by Math Solutions in 2010. She received a PhD in Mathematics Education from the University of California, Berkeley and a BA in Mathematics and Psychology from Wellesley College.

Curren-Preis, M., Garcia, N., & Shaughnessy, M. (2022). Why classroom equity strategies aren’t always equal. Educational Leadership, 79(5), 55–59.

Shaughnessy, M., Selling, S. K., Garcia, N., & Ball, D. L. (2022). Learning to teach teaching: What capabilities and knowledge do mathematics teacher educators need and (how) can we support their development? In D. Polly & E. Garin (Eds.), Preparing Quality Teachers: Advances in Clinical Practice (pp. 41-68). Information Age Publishing.

Shaughnessy, M., Garcia, N. M., O'Neill, M. K., Selling, S. K., Willis, A. T., Wilkes II, C. E., Salazar, S. B., & Ball, D. L. (2021). Formatively assessing prospective teachers' skills in leading mathematics discussions. Educational Studies in Mathematics.

Shaughnessy, M., Garcia, N., & Robinson, D. D. (2021). Supporting students in critiquing math arguments. Mathematics Teacher: Learning and Teaching Pre-K–12, 114(11), 820-829.

Garcia, N., Shaughnessy, M., & Pynes, D. (2021). Recording student thinking in a mathematics discussion. Mathematics Teacher: Learning and Teaching Pre-K–1, 114(12), 926–933.

Shaughnessy, M., DeFino, R., Pfaff, E., & Blunk, M. (2020). I think I made a mistake: How do prospective teachers elicit the thinking of a student who has made a mistake? Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education.

Boerst, T. A., Shaughnessy, M., DeFino, R., Blunk, M., Farmer, S. O., Pfaff, E., & Pynes, D. (2020). Preparing teachers to formatively assess: Connecting the initial capabilities of preservice teachers with visions of teaching practice. In C. Martin, D. Polly, & R. Lambert (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Formative Assessment in Pre-K through Elementary Classrooms (pp. 89-116). IGI Global.

Shaughnessy, M., Ghousseini, H., Kazemi, E., Franke, M., Kelley-Petersen, M., & Hartmann, E. (2019). An investigation of supporting teacher learning in the context of a common decomposition for leading mathematics discussions. Teaching and Teacher Education, 80, 167–179.

Shaughnessy, M., Boerst, T., & Farmer, S. O. (2019). Complementary assessments of preservice teachers’ skill with eliciting student thinking. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 22(6), 607–638.

Shaughnessy, M., & Boerst, T. (2018). Designing simulations to learn about preservice teachers’ capabilities with eliciting and interpreting student thinking. In G. J. Stylianides & K. Hino (Eds.), Research advances in the mathematical education of pre-service elementary teachers: An international perspective (pp.125–140). Springer.

Shaughnessy, M., & Boerst, T. (2018). Uncovering the skills that preservice teachers bring to teacher education: The practice of eliciting a student’s thinking. Journal of Teacher Education, 69(1), 40–55.

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