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 specializations. Dr. Barbieri earned her Bachelors in Psychology 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 at 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’s research program is situated within the field of mathematical cognition and centers broadly on instruction for students who struggle with mathematics. Specifically, her work focuses on applying and evaluating the effectiveness of instructional strategies and materials based on principles of learning from cognitive and learning sciences on improving mathematical competencies. A core part of her work aims to understand how common mathematical errors can be used most effectively to reduce misconceptions and improve learning in math content areas that students commonly struggle with. Recently this has involved both algebra and fractions, two gateway topics for success in STEM disciplines and careers.  Dr. Barbieri also considers the development of positive mathematics and beliefs within the classroom and their role in learning. Born and raised Latina in New York, Dr. Barbieri is particularly concerned with mathematics instruction and learning opportunities in school settings that serve primarily BIPOC students as well as how variations in these opportunities may impact math attitudes and beliefs.

Dr. Barbieri serves as or has served as Co-PI for a variety of federally-funded projects. These include an IES Exploration grant (R305A170226) exploring the relationship between improvements in fraction understanding and algebra readiness along (PI: Julie Booth), an IES Development grant (R305A190126) focused on developing and testing GeometryByExample, an intervention that incorporates explanation of correct and incorrect examples of varied geometric content for high school Geometry students (PI: Booth), and an NSF EHR Core grant (2000495) that investigates how to leverage first-graders’ informal fraction-related knowledge to develop formal fraction understandings (PI: Nancy Jordan).

Outside of her work, you will find Dr. Barbieri traveling, exploring new foods, laughing too loud, and spending time with family.

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 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 2022-2023 academic year. UDSOE doctoral students receive funding for 4+ years.

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.

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