David Kirshner

David Kirshner  


Bachelor's Degree(s): Mathematics, Sir George Williams University, 1977

Master's Degree: Mathematics, University of British Columbia, 1977

PhD: Mathematics Education, University of British Columbia, 1987

Phone: (225) 578-2332

Fax: (225) 578-9135

Email: dkirsh@lsu.edu

Office: 103 Peabody Hall



Professor Kirshner has been on faculty at LSU since 1987, and has served as a Co-director of the Gordon A. Cain Center for STEM Literacy since 2008.  His interests concern the psychology of learning. Studies he has conducted in mathematics education explore the development of algebra symbol skills, and inculcation of explicit mathematical reasoning in algebra through use of a Lexical Support System. His crossdisciplinary approach addresses the problematic of a multi-paradigmatic science of psychology. Rather than align Education with a single theory of learning, or else try to forge a synthesis across paradigms that Psychology itself has not yet accomplished, his work focuses on the discrete genres of teaching that collectively address the valued learning goals of education.

Selected Publications

Kirshner, D. (2016). Configuring learning theory to support teaching. In L. English & D. Kirshner (Eds.), Handbook of international research in mathematics education (3rd Ed) (pp. 98-149). New York: Taylor & Francis.

Kirshner, D., & Meng, L. (2012). Enculturation and acculturation. In N. M. Seel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the sciences of learning (pp. 1148–1151). Berlin: Springer Publishing.

Kirshner, D., & Awtry, T. (2004). Visual salience of algebraic transformations. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 35(4), 224-257.

Barab, S., & Kirshner, D. (Eds.) (2001). Rethinking methodology in the learning sciences. Special issue of Journal of the Learning Sciences, 10(1).

Pesek, D. D., & Kirshner, D. (2000). Interference of instrumental instruction in subsequent relational learning. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 31(5), 524-540.

Kirshner, D. & Whitson, J. A. (1998). Obstacles to understanding cognition as situated. Educational Researcher, 27(8), 22-28.

Selected Presentations

“The remarkable pedagogy of Christopher Healy,” (with M. Lord). International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Vancouver, Canada, July 15-19, 2014.

“The Multiplicity of Learning Theory: Problems and Perspectives.” Symposium organized for AERA Annual Meeting, April, 27-30, 2013.

“Claiming the Cultural Space of the Classroom: Issues of Ethics and Social Justice.” AERA Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, April, 2011. ED518215, available at the ERIC Web site (http://www.eric.ed.gov)

"Genres of Teaching." Paper presented at the Division 15 pre-Conference on the Teaching of Educational Psychology, American Psychological Association, Toronto, Canada, August 5, 2009.

“Mathematical Structure and Early Algebra.” Theme coordinator and presenter at the NSF-funded Mayenne Conference on Early Algebra. Evron-Mézangers, France, June 22-25, 2008.

“Visual Syntax of Algebra,” “La Syntaxe Visuelle de l‘Algèbre,” “La Sintassi Visuale dell'Algebra,” Keynote paper presented at SFIDA-29, Séminaire Franco-Italien de Didactique de l'Algèbre, Nice, France, June 27, 2008.

“Structural understanding of algebra: A new curriculum approach.” Invited keynote address for Korea Society for Mathematics Education Annual Conference. Kyungsang National University, South Korea, October 13, 2006.


 Professional Service

Co-editor of Handbook of international research in mathematics education (3rd Ed) (2016);

Member of the editorial board of Mathematical Thinking and Learning;

Member of the editorial board of Journal of the Korea Society of Mathematical Education; Member of the Advisory Board of the James J. Kaput Center for Research and Innovation in Mathematics Education at University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth;



Chair of the Editorial Panel of Journal for Research in Mathematics Education;

President of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education.