Candace Walkington

Candace Walkington, Ph.D.

Professor in Simmons Teaching & Learning Department and Gerald J. Ford Research Fellow

Dr. Candace Walkington is an Annette and Harold Simmons Centennial Chair, Professor, and a Gerald J. Ford Research Fellow in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Southern Methodist University, specializing in mathematics education. She holds a B.S. and M.S. in Mathematics from Texas A&M University, and she is a former NSF-GK12 Fellow and college mathematics professor. She received her Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from University of Texas at Austin. She was also an IES Postdoctoral Fellow in Mathematical Thinking, Learning, and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Walkington was a recipient of a Spencer Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Grant. In 2019, Dr. Walkington received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from the U.S. Department of Education. While at SMU, she has received over $11 million worth of grants as PI or co-PI, from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Defense. Dr. Walkington serves as an Executive Editor of Cognition and Instruction.

Dr. Walkington’s research examines how abstract mathematical ideas can become connected to students’ concrete, everyday experiences and “funds of knowledge,” such that mathematical ideas are more understandable. She conducts research on “personalizing” mathematics instruction to students’ out of-school interests in areas like sports, music, shopping, and video games, and their intended careers like nursing or software design. She currently is PI on an NSF iTEST grant which examines how receiving mathematics instruction personalized to STEM career interests impacts students learning and attitudes towards math, as well as their interest in STEM careers. She is also conducting research on the walkSTEM initiative, which connects math learning to art, architecture, and nature by having children and families take guided “math walks” together and create their own math walks. She is currently PI on an NSF grant that is creating a mobile place-based game for math walks in informal learning environments.

Dr. Walkington’s research further examines ways to connect mathematical practices with physical motions including gestures, using AR, VR, and motion capture technologies. She currently is PI on a grant from the U.S. Department of Education examining how Augmented Reality (AR) technologies can allow students to collaborate using shared holograms of geometric shapes. Her work draws on embodied and distributed theories of cognition.

Dr. Walkington has worked with the UTeach secondary math and science teacher preparation program at the University of Texas at Austin, as well as the Gates Foundation’s Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) Project. She teaches courses for pre-service and in-service mathematics teachers.

Southern Methodist University has engaged Everspring, a leading provider of education and technology services, to support select aspects of program delivery.