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Beth Herbel-Eisenmann - Michigan State University. East Lansing, MI, US

Beth Herbel-Eisenmann

Professor | Michigan State University


Beth is interested in issues of equity that concern authority, positioning, & voice in mathematics classrooms & professional development.



Beth Herbel-Eisenmann Publication






Dr. Herbel-Eisenmann draws on ideas from sociolinguistics and discourse literatures to research written curriculum and classroom discourse practices as well as the professional development of secondary mathematics teachers. She is especially interested in issues of equity that concern authority, positioning, and voice in mathematics classrooms and professional development. Over the past decade, she has had three long-term collaborations with secondary mathematics teachers who used action research to study and change their classroom discourse toward goals of better supporting students’ learning while taking account students’ positioning and identity development.

Areas of Expertise (2)


Mathematics Education

Education (3)

Michigan State University: Ph.D., Curriculum, Policy and Teacher Education

Northern Arizona University: M.Math., Mathematics

Mayville State University: B.Math., Mathematics Education

News (2)

Letters: Responses to John Engler's interview with The State News

The State News  online


I am an alumni and Professor at Michigan State University. I support an open presidential search process. I support faculty and student representation at the highest levels of governance. I support survivors and the reopening of the Healing Assistance Fund. I support Reclaim MSU.

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Why students need more ‘math talk

The Conversation  online


Research, such as the work led by education researchers Suzanne Chapin and Beth Herbel-Eisenmann, has shown how math talk supports learning. It can improve memory and understanding; aid the development of language and social skills; and boost confidence and interest in math.

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Journal Articles (5)

Detecting and Reducing Bias in Questioning Patterns


2019 This article explores teaching practices described in NCTM’s Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All. Investigating and mitigating implicit bias in questions are discussed in this article, which is another installment in the series.

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District Decision-Makers' Considerations of Equity and Equality Related to Students' Opportunities to Learn Algebra

Teachers College Record

2018 In this article we explore equity issues related to school district decision-making about students' opportunities to learn algebra. We chose algebra because of the important role it plays in the U.S. as a gatekeeper to future academic success. Current research has not yet explored issues of equity in district-level decision-making.

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Equity within mathematics education research as a political act: Moving from choice to intentional collective professional responsibility

Journal for Research in Mathematics Education

2017 This Research Committee commentary describes how mathematics education researchers, or MERs, need to build on equity. The committee states that equity should no longer be a choice but an intentional, collective, and professional responsibility of the MER community.

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Positioning Mathematics Education Researchers to Influence Storylines


2016 The NCTM Research Committee identifies key influences on mathematics education that are largely outside the domain of the academic world in which most mathematics education researchers live. The groups that are identified—including the media, companies and foundations, and other academic domains—affect the public's perception of mathematics and mathematics education. They argue that mathematics education researchers can intervene to shift these storylines and positionings and have greater impact on policy, practice, and public perception in the future.

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Mapping talk about the mathematics register in a secondary mathematics teacher study group

The Journal of Mathematical Behavior

2015 The mathematics register refers to the forms of meaning and styles of communication used by the mathematics disciplinary community. Many mathematics education scholars have attended to this idea, yet it has gotten little attention in secondary mathematics teacher education. Work related to content-based literacy points to potential benefits for an increased focus on the mathematics register because an important role of teachers is to assist students in developing facility with the mathematics register in order to support students’ learning.

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