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 colleagues and I are completing a National Science Foundation grant to investigate how to support teachers in learning from videos of elementary mathematics classrooms and have recently received a grant from the James S. McDonnell Foundation to pursue similar research questions.

Also, as part of the iLEARN ( team, I am interested in how the online space provides supports and affordances for students who are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields. We have funding from the Institute of Education Sciences to investigate this issue.

Key Professional Appointments

Professor, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997 - present

Professor, Educational Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1996 - present

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


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

B.A., Psychology, Brandeis University, 1979

Awards, Honors, Associations

List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students, University of Illinois at Urbana -Champaign, 2018 - 2018

Distinguished Teaching Career Award, College of Education, University of Illinois, 2015 - 2015

List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students, University of Illinois at Urbana -Champaign, 2008 - 2013

R. Stewart Jones Award for the Outstanding Teacher in Educational Psychology, Department of Educational Psychology, 2008 - 2008

Incomplete List, University of Illinois at Urbana -Champaign, 1998 - 2007

Research & Service

My research focuses on (1) children's acquisition of knowledge, especially of the sort taught in schools (e.g., children's acquisition of mathematical concepts), (2) the ways in which teachers understand and improve their teaching of mathematics, and (3) the ways in which the online space may provide supports and affordances for students underrepresented in STEM.


Beilstein, S., Perry, M., & Bates, M. (2017). Prompting meaningful analysis from pre-service teachers using elementary mathematics video vignettes. Teaching and Teacher Education, 63 285-295.

Sun, J., Anderson, R., Perry, M., & Lin, T. (2017). Emergent leadership in children’s cooperative problem-solving groups Cognition and Instruction, 35 212-235.

Carlson, C., Jacobs, S., Perry, M., & Church, R. (2014). The effect of gestured instruction on the learning of physical causality problems. Gesture, 14 (1), 26-46.

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 >

Wilson, T., Perry, M., Anderson, C., & Grosshandler, D. (2012). Engaging young students in scientific investigations: Prompting for meaningful reflection. Instructional Science, 40 19-46.

McConney, M., & Perry, M. (2011). A change in questioning tactics: Prompting student autonomy Investigations in Mathematics Learning, 3 26-45.

Perry, M., McConney, M., Flevares, L., Mingle, L., & Hamm, J. (2011). Engaging first-graders to participate as students of mathematics. Theory Into Practice, 50 293-299.

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, 24 140-153.

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, 15 (2), 120-124.

Schleppenbach, M., Flevares, L., Sims, L., & Perry, M. (2007). Teacher responses to student mistakes in Chinese and U.S. mathematics classrooms Elementary School Journal, 108 131-147.

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, 99 380-396.

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 ( pp. 229-264). Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Perry, M., & Lewis, J. (1999). Verbal imprecision as an index of knowledge in transition. Developmental Psychology, 35 749-759.

Altermatt, A., Jovanovic, J., & Perry, M. (1998). Bias or sensitivity? Sex and achievement-level effects on teachers' classroom questioning practices. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90 516-527.

Henricks, G., Perry, M., & Bhat, S. (2020). Gender and gendered discourse in two online STEM courses. ( 14 ed). Nashville, TN: Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2020.: International Society of the Learning Sciences.

Jay, V., Henricks, G., Bosch, P., Perry, M., Bhat, S., Williams-Debosz, D., Angrave, L., & Shaik, N. (2020). Online discussion forum help-seeking behaviors of students underrepresented in STEM. ( 14 ed). Nashville, TN: Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2020.: International Society of the Learning Sciences.

Bates, M., Perry, M., Cimpian, J., Beilstein, S., Moran, C., Jay, V., & Henricks, G. An exploratory study of the relationship between teachers’ implicit theories and reflection.

Beilstein, S., Henricks, G., Jay, V., Perry, M., Bates, M., Moran, C., & Cimpian, J. Teacher voices from an online elementary mathematics community: Examining perceptions of professional learning.


An exploration into gesture’s benefit for learning about gear movement (2013).: Chicago.

Multiple strategy use and generation in fifth-grade mathematics classes (2013).: Chicago.

Responding to opportunities to learn: Knowing when enough is enough (2013).: Chicago.

Converging evidence that stereotype threat does not impact math performance during childhood and early adolescence (2012).: Chicago.

Transfer of emergent leadership from collaborative reasoning to collaborative problem solving (2012).: Vancouver, Canada.

When perception is more important than reality: Gender differences in goal-related behavior on perceptions of mathematical ability. In S. Lubienski (Chair), Gender and Mathematics: An interdisciplinar (2012).: Vancouver, Canada.

Contextual supports for learning mathematics. Invited presentation in M. Alibali (Chair), Mentoring award in honor of Susan Goldin-Meadow (2011).: Washington, D.C.

Mathematics across cultures: Teacher-facilitated horizontal discourse in Chinese and U.S. mathematics lessons (2011).: New Orleans.

Discourse in elementary U.S. and Chinese mathematics classrooms: Building understanding of practices and possibilities (2005).: Montreal, Canada.

Eager math learners: First-graders’ participation through unsolicited contributions to mathematics discourse (2005).: Atlanta, GA.

Who should I call on? Student volunteering and teacher responsivity in first-graders mathematics (2005).: Atlanta, GA.

To watch, perchance to learn: Pitfalls in learning from classroom video and some solutions. In R. Santagata & N. Kersting (Chairs), Video-based analysis of practice for teacher learning in mathematics (2004).: San Diego, CA.

Impacting elementary mathematics teachers’ reflection on video (2020). American Educational Research Association: San Francisco.

Mathematical teaching self-efficacy, goals for professional learning, and engagement in online professional development (2020). American Educational Research Association: San Francisco.


Principal Investigator, Understanding and Improving Learning from Online Mathematics Classroom Videos, National Science Foundation, 2016 - 2021

Principal Investigator, Prompting Reflection on Video Cases of Elementary Mathematics in a Virtual Learning Community, Campus Research Board, 2014 - 2016

Senior Personnel, UIUC Postdoctoral Research Training Program in Mathematics Education, Institute of Education Sciences, 2010 - 2016

Principal Investigator, Identifying the relationship between gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity and omissions: An Analysis of 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress Data, Campus Research Board, 2010 - 2012

Principal Investigator, Capturing the Complexity of Fifth-Grade Mathematics Lessons: Using Social Network Analysis to Understand Pivotal Discourse, Campus Research Board, 2008 - 2010

Principal Investigator, Linking Processes to School Achievement Outcomes: Understanding Adaptations in Discourse that Promote Learning, The Spencer Foundation, 2006 - 2007

Co-Principal Investigator, ITR: Multimodal Human Computer Interaction: Toward a Proactive Computer, National Science Foundation (Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), 2000 - 2006

Co-Principal Investigator, Representing and Learning from Classroom Video, National Science Foundation (Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), 2000 - 2006

Principal Investigator, Evaluation Research & Revision for the TIMMS/MATHTRAILBLAZERS Elementary Mathematics Curriculum, National Science Foundation (University of Michigan at Ann Arbor), 2003 - 2005

Principal Investigator, Learning to Become Mathematicians: Are We Bridging the Gender Gap, The Spencer Foundation, 1999 - 2000

Principal Investigator, Spencer Post Doctoral Fellowship For Michelle Perry, The Spencer Foundation (National Academy of Education), 1993 - 1995


Associate Editor, American Educational Research Journal, 2010 - 2013

Math & Science Panel - Proposal Reviewer, Institute of Educational Sciences, 2012 - 2016

Basic Processes Panel - Proposal Reviewer, Institute of Educational Sciences, 2012 - 2013

Panel Review Member: Informal Science Education Proposal Reviewer, National Science Foundation, 2012 - 2012


Psyc of Learning in Education (EPSY 400) Study of the psychology of human learning as it applies to instruction, educational issues, and educational problems.

Issues in Professional Prep (EPSY 590) This section is for those students wishing to enroll for 0 credit hours.

Issues in Professional Prep (EPSY 590) This section is for students wanting to register for 1 to 4 credit hours.

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Professor (Dev. Sciences Division Chair), Developmental Sciences Division



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

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