Dor Abrahamson

Dor is an Associate Professor of Secondary Mathematics Education in the Area of Cognition and Development at the University of California Berkeley Graduate School of Education where he researches mathematics learning and teaching. He develops and evaluates theoretical models of these processes by analyzing empirical data collected during implementations of his innovative pedagogical design. Drawing on embodiment and sociocultural paradigms, Abrahamson is particularly interested in modeling how learners coordinate between intuitive and formal views on situated phenomena and what roles teachers play in ushering these coordinations. Abrahamson’s analyses of pedagogical interactions focus on student and teacher use of informal inference, various modalities, media, discursive genres, semiotic systems, and metaphor.

At the core of Abrahamson’s practice are cognitive domain re-analyses with an eye on creating learning materials and activities. Using both traditional media, such as concrete manipulatives, and recent technologies, such as motion sensors, touch screens, and agent-based simulations, Abrahamson has worked mostly on the concepts of proportion and probability. This line of research also informs the creation of design frameworks.

Abrahamson directs the Embodied Design Research Laboratory. EDRL projects are typical of the design-based research multi-disciplinary approach: inspired by all children’s capacity to deeply understand mathematics subject matter, and driven by specific conjectures as how to engender such understanding, EDRL members create activities involving mixed-media materials they engineer, construct, and refine on the basis of empirical studies.

Abrahamson’s PhD co-advisors at Northwestern University were Karen Fuson and Uri Wilensky. Abrahamson is recipient of a National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship for Seeing Chance, a design-based research project that investigated how students build personal meaning for probability concepts.

Website: Dor Abrahamson