Overview:
Education
Ph.D., Mathematics Education, Western Michigan University, 2012
M.A., Mathematics, Western Michigan University, December 2009
M.A., Mathematics Education, Western Michigan University, April 2008
B.A., Mathematics, University of Saint Thomas, May 2006
Research Focus: students' learning of mathematics, representational fluency, learning trajectories, learning progressions, linking research and practice, functional thinking, algebraic thinking, representational fluency, K12 algebra education, curriculum, technology in instruction
Dr. Fonger researches how students learn mathematics, with a focus on students’ learning of algebra and algebraic thinking across K12 schooling. In future work, Nicole plans to extend her focus on student cognition, curriculum, and instructional supports to include affective dimensions of learning and wellbeing. Dr. Fonger has published her work on learning trajectories and learning progressions, which model students’ learning of mathematics over time in relation to curricular and instructional supports for learning. Nicole has also published research reports on her characterizations of students’ representational fluency, a construct to model students’ use of symbols, tables, and graphs in doing and communicating about mathematics with multiple representations. Some of this work is published in proceedings for the North American Chapter of International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PMENA). Finally, Professor Fonger publishes research findings that focus on linking research and practice, to bridge the work of mathematics educators in higher education and in school settings, with a focus on secondary math teachers.
Select Publications

Fonger, N. L., Stephens, A., Blanton, M., Isler, I., Knuth, E., Gardiner, A. (in revision). Developing a learning progression for curriculum, instruction, and student learning. For resubmission to Cognition and Instruction.

Fonger, N. L. (in press). A designbased research partnership to support students’ coordination of computer algebra systems and paperandpencil. International Journal for Technology in Mathematics Education.

Stephens, A., Fonger, N. L., Isler, I., Strachota, S., Knuth, E., Blanton, M. (in press). Elementary students’ generalization and representation of functional relationships: A learning progressions approach. Mathematical Thinking and Learning.

Fonger, N. L., Reiten, L., Strachota, S., Ozgur, Z. (2017). Engaging in research: Why? How? Now! Mathematics Teacher 110(6), 462465.

Fonger, N. L., Ellis, A., Dogan, M. F. (2016). Students’ conceptions supporting their symbolization and meaning of function rules. In M. B. Wood, E. E. Turner, M. Civil, & J. A. Eli (Eds.) Proceedings of the 38th annual meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (pp. 156163). Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona.

Davis, J. D., & Fonger, N. L. (2015). An analytical framework for categorizing the use of CAS symbolic manipulation in textbooks. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 88(2), 239258. doi: 10.1007/s106490149581z
Educational Honors and Awards

Linking Research and Practice Outstanding Publication Award Mathematics Teacher. The winning article, “Equivalent Expressions Using CAS and PaperandPencil Techniques” was authored by Nicole L. Fonger, published May 2014, pp. 68893.

Graduate Research and Creative Scholar Award, Western Michigan University, Department of Mathematics, 20112012

All University Teaching Effectiveness Award, Western Michigan University, 20102011

Yusuf Alavi Doctoral Student Award, Western Michigan University, Department of Mathematics, 20092010

Robert C. Seber Memorial Award, Western Michigan University, 20072008

Initiate of Michigan Epsilon chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon, Western Michigan University , April 2008

Initiate of Delta Epsilon Sigma, University of Saint Thomas, Department of Mathematics, October 2004

Initiate of Phi Theta Kappa, North Hennepin Community College, April 2002
Professional Memberships

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)

North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PMENA)

International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (IGPME)

European Research in Mathematics Education (ERME)
Select Service Commitments

Grant Panel reviewer for the National Science Foundation

Manuscript reviewer for Journal for Research in Mathematics Education

Manuscript reviewer for Mathematics Teacher

Manuscript reviewer for North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education