Anita Wager

Professional Title
Assistant Professor
About Me (Bio)
I am an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My research focuses on broadening notions of teaching mathematics for understanding to consider the cultural and socio-political contexts in which children live and learn. The goals of my research are first to critically examine (a) teaching for understanding, (b) the relationship between students’ out-of-school mathematical knowledge and the mathematics they learn in school, and (c) the mathematical knowledge students need to question inequities in their world. Second to work with in- service and pre-service teachers to identify how these themes can be addressed in the preK-5 mathematics classroom.
Michigan State University (MSU)

This project involves designing, facilitating, and studying professional development (PD) to support equitable mathematics education. The PD will involve grades 4-8 mathematics teachers across three sites to support the design of a two-week institute focused on enhancing access and agency in relationship to important math practices, followed by ongoing interactions for the math teachers to engage in systematic inquiry of their practice over time to facilitate equitable mathematics teaching and learning in their classrooms.

University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison)

This project is creating and studying a professional development model to support preK teachers in developing culturally and developmentally appropriate practices in counting and early number. The proposed model is targeted at teachers of children in four-year-old kindergarten, and focuses on culturally relevant teaching and learning. The model stresses counting and basic number operations with the intention of exploring the domain as it connects to children's experiences in their homes and communities.

Vanderbilt University

Previous research has shown that play is an important vehicle for exploration, understanding, and learning because play involves many of the same features as sophisticated disciplinary engagement in mathematics. Despite work documenting the value of play broadly, little research has directly addressed how play could be supported or the value of doing so in mathematics classrooms. The purpose of this project is to investigate play in early elementary math education through a four-year longitudinal study that documents teacher learning and connects teacher practice with in-depth qualitative analyses of children over multiple years.