According to the 2015 NAEP, only 40% of fourth graders and 33% of eighth graders in the US are proficient in math. Although research in cognition and learning has dramatically increased our understanding of mathematics learning, there is a great need to translate these findings into effective educational practice. Christina Barbieri’s research program centers broadly on instruction for students who struggle in math. Specifically, her work focuses on the evaluation and application of learning principles to improve mathematical competencies and motivation for math. She takes special interest in strategies that may be particularly effective for students most at risk for low math achievement (e.g., underrepresented minority students, low SES students).  Struggling students make more mathematical errors during problem-solving which often reflect misconceptions that interfere with learning (Booth, Barbieri, Eyer, & Paré-Blagoev, 2014). Thus, a recent concentration of her work is concerned with how common mathematical errors can be used most effectively to reduce misconceptions and improve learning in content areas that students commonly struggle with (e.g., fractions, algebra).

Dr. Barbieri’s work uses a variety of data collection techniques, ranging from laboratory studies to in-vivo classroom experiments. Much of her research focuses on adolescent learners in their secondary years of schooling. She also has experience studying learning from the preschool to college ages. Dr. Barbieri enjoys employing a range of advanced statistical techniques to answer research questions surrounding important issues of learning and instruction. She has published her work in scholarly journals such as Contemporary Educational Psychology and Learning and Individual Differences and policy outlets such as Policy Insights from Behavioral and Brain Sciences.


Research Scientist: Temple University (January 2, 2018 – September 1, 2018)

PI: Julie L. Booth; Co-PIs: Kristie J. Newton, Laura Pendergast, & Christina Barbieri

IES Grant: Opening the door to Algebra: Does improving facets of fraction knowledge  impact algebra learning?

IES Postdoctoral Research Fellow: University of Delaware (2015 – January 1, 2018)

PIs: Nancy C. Jordan, Roberta M. Golinkoff, and Henry May

Graduate Research Assistant: Temple University (2011 – 2015)

Advisor: Julie L. Booth

Research Assistant: City University of New York, Lehman College (2010 – 2011)

Advisor: Vincent Prohaska

Lab Manager: City University of New York, Lehman College (2009 – 2011)

Advisor: Keith R. Happaney



Opening the door to Algebra: Does improving fraction knowledge impact algebra learning? ($1,301,369), Funded for 7/1/2017 – 6/30/2020. (IES, U.S. Dept. of Ed: R305A170226. PI: Julie L. Booth; Co-PIs: Kristie Newton & Christina Barbieri).

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