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Office of the Dean of Arts
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Ballou Hall, 3rd floor
Tufts University
Medford, MA 02155

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Bárbara M. Brizuela

Professor
Dean of Academic Affairs for Arts & Sciences

  • Ed.D., Harvard University
  • M.A., Tufts University
  • Licenciada en Ciencias Pedagógicas, Universidad de Belgrano, Argentina
  • Licenciada en Psicopedagogía, Universidad de Belgrano, Argentina

Bárbara studied in Argentina and the U.S., where she moved in 1995. She has been a kindergarten and seventh grade teacher in Argentina as well as a Spencer Foundation research training grantee. In 2008-2009 Bárbara was a Spencer Fellow, a Fulbright Senior Scholar, and a Schuster Family Faculty Fellow in Arts & Sciences (Tufts University). Her current research focuses on children's learning of elementary mathematics, including early algebra, children's learning of the notational number system and other notational aspects of mathematics, and mathematics teachers' learning and professional development. Since 1998, she has been involved in research on children's early algebraic reasoning, exploring the intertwined nature of arithmetic and algebra (see 'Early Algebra'). Her main areas of interest are mathematics education, early childhood education, and cognitive development. Her research is grounded on the fundamental belief that our primary goal as educators is to understand and highlight children's thinking and reasoning in productive ways.

Current projects:

In the Media

2012:
The Algebra Problem. How to elicit algebraic thinking in students before eighth grade. Harvard Education Letter, 28(3), May-June 2012, by Laura Pappano.

On page 2 of this article that appeared in The Boston Globe Magazine, I am referenced as saying about after school math programs that "there is little solid evidence to show that these programs do anything at all" and that I am "skeptical about the efficacy of after-school math centers." In the interview that led to this reference, I had many more things to say, which did not make it to print! The bottom line is that I wish that all the money poured into creating and sustaining these programs were dedicated to curriculum development, professional development, and parental involvement in their children's mathematics education.

2010:
Interview by Magazine Desde La Patagonia, published by Centro Regional Universitario Bariloche, Universidad Nacional del Comahue, reporting on my Fulbright Fellowship at their institution.

2009:
Let x=x. Tufts Journal, April 2009. Article by Marjorie Howard on the Early Algebra project and our summer camp.

Interview on the television program 12(ntes) [Teachers], which appears weekly on public television in Argentina. Volume 4, 2009.

Aprender Matemática Puede Ser Divertido. Acción, 4(28), 8-9. 2009 Article in the outreach magazine of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Province of Córdoba, Argentina, reporting on a two-day workshop held for in-service teachers in May 2009.

Reflexões no papel. Álgebra desde cedo. Revista Nova Escola on line, edição 227 – Noviember 2009, by Beatriz Santomauro.  Report on an invited presentation given in October 2009 as part of "Education Week" organized by the Victor Civita Foundation with the purpose of celebrating teachers' day in Brazil.  São Paulo, Brazil.

2003:
The wedding of two programs will help kids learn mathematics. Tufts Journal, March 2003. Article by Marjorie Howard on the Building Math project.

2001:
Algebra in elementary school?  No sweat. Tufts Journal, November 2001.  Article by Marjorie Howard on the Early Algebra Project.