My research focuses on children's learning -- especially of mathematics in elementary schools -- and the ways in which this can be supported. I attempt to explain how students take up new concepts and contribute to the collective understanding of mathematics in the classroom. My ongoing projects include analysis of video data from first- and fifth-grade classrooms, both in the United States and in China. I am also investigating how to support teachers in learning from video of elementary mathematics classrooms. New students are welcome to join our research group to look at the practices and structures in these lessons that potentially influence student learning.

Key Professional Appointments

Department ChairEducational Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001 - 2007

ProfessorPsychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1998 - 

ProfessorBeckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997 - 

ProfessorEducational Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1996 - 


Ph.D., Educational Psychology and Child Development, University of Chicago, 1987

B.A., Psychology, Brandeis University, 1979

Awards, Honors, Associations

Distinguished Teaching Career Award2015 - 2015

List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students2008 - 2013

R. Stewart Jones Award for the Outstanding Teacher in Educational Psychology2008 - 2008

Incomplete List1998 - 2007

Research & Service

My research has focused on children's acquisition of knowledge, especially of the sort taught in schools (e.g., children's acquisition of mathematical concepts).

My general area of interest is cognitive development and learning, especially in school-aged children. Currently, I am pursuing research that examines how different representations of mathematical information impact children's developing understanding of that information. My research examines the specific ways in which environmental and instructional features may influence children's learning and cognitive development.


Ganley, C., Mingle, L., Ryan, A., Ryan, K., Vasilyeva, M., Perry, M. (2013) An Examination of Stereotype Threat Effects on Girls' Mathematics Performance Developmental Psychology 49, 1886-1897 link>

Perry, M., McConney, M., Flevares, L., Mingle, L., Hamm, J. (2011) Engaging first-graders to participate as students of mathematics Theory Into Practice

Sims, L., Perry, M., McConney, M., Schleppenbach, M., Miller, K., Wilson, T. (2008) Look who's talking: Differences in math talk in U.S. and Chinese classrooms Teaching Children Mathematics

Correa, C., Perry, M., Sims, L., Miller, K., Fang, G. (2008) Connected and culturally embedded beliefs: Chinese and U.S. teachers talk about how their students best learn mathematics Teaching and Teacher Education

Schleppenbach, M., Flevares, L., Sims, L., Perry, M. (2007) Teacher responses to student mistakes in Chinese and U.S. mathematics classrooms.. Elementary School Journal

Schleppenbach, M., Perry, M., Miller, K., Sims, L., Fang, G. (2007) The answer is only the beginning: Extended discourse in Chinese and U.S Journal of Educational Psychology: mathematics classrooms

Ganley, C., Mingle, L., Ryan, A., Ryan, K., Vasilyeva, M., Perry, M. (2001) An Examination of Stereotype Threat Effects on Girls' Mathematics Performance. Developmental Psychology Advance online publication link>

Stigler, J., Perry, M. (2000) Developing classroom process data for the improvement of teaching. Grading the nation's report card: Research from the evaluation of NAEP National Academy Press: Washington, DC

Perry, M., Lewis, J. (1999) Verbal imprecision as an index of knowledge in transition Developmental Psychology

Altermatt, A., Jovanovic, J., Perry, M. (1998) Bias or sensitivity? Sex and achievement-level effects on teachers' classroom questioning practices Journal of Educational Psychology


Co-Principal InvestigatorITR: Multimodal Human Computer Interaction: Toward a Proactive Computer, National Science Foundation (Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), 9/1/2000 12:00:00 AM - 8/31/2006 12:00:00 AM

Co-Principal InvestigatorRepresenting and Learning from Classroom Video, National Science Foundation (Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), 9/1/2000 12:00:00 AM - 8/31/2006 12:00:00 AM

Principal InvestigatorGRA Support: Tracking Success in Fifth-Grade Mathematics: Linking Student Improvement on the ISAT to Classroom, Bureau of Educational Research, 8/16/2007 12:00:00 AM - 12/31/2008 12:00:00 AM


Math & Science Panel - Proposal Reviewer2012 - 2016

Basic Processes Panel - Proposal Reviewer2012 - 2013

Associate Editor2010 - 2013

Panel Review Member: Informal Science Education Proposal Reviewer2012 - 2012


Psyc of Learning in Education Study of the psychology of human learning as it applies to instruction, educational issues, and educational problems. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 2 or 4 graduate hours. Taking 4 credit hours requires consent of the instructor and the completion of a substantive scholarly project. Undergraduate and graduate work load will be commensurate with the requirements. 2 hours for Latin and Spanish Certification, Elementary Edm Music and GSLIS. Prerequisite: EPSY 201 or equivalent. Class Schedule Information: Note: Fulfills educational psychology foundation requirement in learning.

Michelle Perry

Professor, Educational Psychology



220E Education Building
1310 S. Sixth St.
Champaign, IL 61820

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