Dr. Christina Areizaga Barbieri is an Assistant Professor at University of Delaware’s School of Education within the Educational Statistics and Research Methods Ph.D program and the Learning Sciences specialization. She also teaches in the Elementary Teacher Education (ETE) program. Dr. Barbieri earned her Bachelors in Psychology (minor: Education) from the City University of New York (CUNY) and gained her first research experiences through the NSF-funded Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) in STEM research apprenticeship program. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Temple University in 2015 before becoming a postdoctoral researcher through an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Postdoctoral Training grant focused on bridging research between education and cognitive science. Dr. Barbieri then held a Research Scientist position on an IES grant focused on examining causal pathways between fraction and algebra learning before moving on to begin her current tenure-track position at the University of Delaware.
Dr. Barbieri is the Director of the M^3 lab: Math Methods & Motivation. Her research program focuses on understanding and implementing the types of opportunities students need to thrive in mathematics classrooms, whether that be in the form of specific types of instructional tools or in a climate that fosters positive mathematics attitudes. Though there are many factors that impact mathematics learning and development both in and outside the classroom, Dr. Barbieri’s work focuses on factors that are within control of teachers and administrators: design and effectiveness of instructional tools. More specifically, her work is centered on using principles from cognitive and learning sciences to improve mathematics competencies, especially for those who struggle more with mathematics. A necessary component of designing instructional tools to support mathematics learning is to understand the specific concepts, procedures, and types of knowledge that students struggle with most. Thus, some of her work focuses on examining students’ demonstrated knowledge as well as mathematical misconceptions and misunderstandings (i.e., incorrect or partial understandings of mathematical concepts). To date, her research has focused primarily on algebra and fractions, both gateway topics for success in STEM disciplines and careers. However, forthcoming work also focuses on high school geometry learning (IES Grant: R305A190126).
Dr. Barbieri is a Latina and a first-generation college graduate. She attributes her current successes to a supportive family and growing up attending a well-funded diverse public school system in New York that afforded her many opportunities not available elsewhere. Yet she is fully aware that the educational opportunities she was given are the exception and not the rule for URM students. As such, she is particularly concerned with mathematics instruction and learning opportunities in school settings that serve underrepresented racial and ethnic minority students. A second growing line of her work examines the role that students’ beliefs about mathematics (and about themselves in relation to mathematics) play in learning as well as the types of opportunities students need to support those positive beliefs.
Outside of her work, you will find Dr. Barbieri traveling, exploring new foods, laughing too loud, and spending time with family including her two children that she can’t stop talking about.
Dr. Barbieri is currently accepting PhD students who wish to specialize in either Educational Statistics and Research Methods or Learning Sciences. Please contact Dr. Barbieri directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have additional questions about her research program. If you have interest in being Dr. Barbieri’s advisee, please note this in your application letter and explain how your interests align. Applications to both programs are due December 15 for enrollment in the 2024-2025 academic year. UDSOE doctoral students receive funding for 4+ years. **Reviewing graduate applications for Fall, 2024**
If you are a current undergraduate student at the University of Delaware, qualify for work study, and are interested in a part-time research apprenticeship (8-10 hrs/week) with Dr. Barbieri, please refer to the UDRAW website. Dr. Barbieri works with University of Delaware Research Apprenticeship Work-study (UDRAW) undergraduate students. This is a University-wide program (not restricted to CEHD). To participate in research as part of work study, please refer to the UDRAW website.
The University of Delaware also has two paid Summer research programs for undergraduates: Summer Scholars and Summer Fellows. Information on those programs can be found here at the Undergraduate Research Program website.
Dr. Barbieri also mentors undergraduate students from other universities who participate in UD’s Summer Opportunities for Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors (SOURCE) program. To apply, contact Dr. Barbieri about your potential interest and see the SOURCE website for application information.