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 have recently been awarded a National Science Foundation grant to investigate how to support teachers in learning from videos of elementary mathematics classrooms.

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.

I anticipate accepting new Ph.D. students for Fall 2018. Application information can be found at

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

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 - 2014

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 National Academy Press: Washington, DC

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


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.


Principal Investigator Understanding and Improving Learning from Online Mathematics Classroom Videos, National Science Foundation, 2016 - 2020

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 Study of the psychology of human learning as it applies to instruction, educational issues, and educational problems. 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.

Issues in Professional Prep Seminar in educational psychology; topics relate to the areas of specialization represented by the various divisions within the department. Approved for both letter and S/U grading. May be repeated.

Issues in Writg,Pol,& Comm Seminar in educational psychology; topics relate to the areas of specialization represented by the various divisions within the department. Approved for both letter and S/U grading. May be repeated.

Learning & Cognition in STEM Seminar in educational psychology; topics relate to the areas of specialization represented by the various divisions within the department. Approved for both letter and S/U grading. May be repeated.

Perry, Michelle

Professor (Dev. Sciences Division Chair), Educational Psychology



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

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