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Bishop, Jessica

Contact Information
Jessica Pierson Bishop, PhD.
Associate Professor
Curriculum Vitae

Office: MCS 479
Phone: 512.245.2066
Research Interest
Mathematics classroom discourse, Students’ mathematical thinking, Teacher education, Integers/signed numbers

Jessica Pierson Bishop is an Associate Professor of Mathematics Education at Texas State University. Before joining the faculty at Texas State in 2016, Dr. Bishop was on the faculty at San Diego State University and the University of Georgia. Dr. Bishop received her PhD in mathematics education from the University of Texas at Austin in 2008 and has both her undergraduate and master’s degrees in mathematics. Before starting graduate school, Jessica was a public high school teacher. Dr. Bishop’s research interests are in two main areas: research on mathematics classroom discourse and research investigating children's mathematical thinking. She uses both qualitative and quantitative approaches to identify patterns in teacher-student and student-student discourse to better understand how discourse influences mathematics learning and the development of positive mathematics identities. She is currently working on an NSF CAREER grant focused on middle grades mathematics discourse and recently finished an NSF grant exploring K-12 students' conceptions of integers. Dr. Bishop has taught a wide range of courses in both the College of Education and the Department of Mathematics, but her primary work has been with practicing and prospective teachers to help equip them to better attend to and support their students’ mathematical thinking.

Selected Publications:

  • Bishop, J. P., Lamb, L. L., Philipp, R. A., Whitacre, I., Schappelle, B. P. (2016). Leveraging structure: Logical necessity in the context of integer arithmetic. Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 18(3), 209-232.
  • Bishop, J. P., Lamb, L. L., Philipp, R. A., Whitacre, I., Schappelle, B. P. (2016). Unlocking the structure of positive and negative numbers. Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School., 22(2), 84-91.
  • Bishop, J. P., Lamb, L. L., Philipp, R. A., Whitacre, I., Schappelle, B. P., Lewis, M. L. (2014). Obstacles and affordances for integer reasoning: An analysis of children's thinking and the history of mathematics. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 45(1), 19-61.
  • Bishop, J. P., Lamb, L. L., Philipp, R. A., Whitacre, I., Schappelle, B. P. (2014). Using order to reason about negative numbers: The case of Violet. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 86, 39-59.
  • Bishop, J. P. (2012). "She's always been the smart one. I've always been the dumb one": Identities in the mathematics classroom. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 43(1), 34–74.
  • Bishop, J. P., Lamb, L., Philipp, R., Schappelle, B., Whitacre, I. (2011). First graders outwit a famous mathematician. Teaching Children Mathematics, 17, 350–358.
  • Herbel-Eisenmann, B., Meaney, T., Bishop, J. P., Metzuyanim, E. (in press). Highlighting heritages and building tasks: A critical analysis of mathematics classroom discourse literature. Compendium for Research in Mathematics Education. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
  • Lamb, L., Bishop, J. P., Philipp, R. A., Whitacre, I., Schappelle, B. P. (accepted with revisions). Students’ reasoning about integer addition and subtraction: Ways of reasoning, problem types, and flexibility. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education.
  • Whitacre, I., Lamb, L. C., Azuz, B., Bishop, J. P., Philipp, R. A., & Schappelle, B. P. (2017). Integer comparisons across the grades: Students’ justifications and ways of reasoning. Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 45, 47–62.
  • Whitacre, I., Bouhjar, K., Bishop, J. P., Philipp, R. A., Schappelle, B. P., & Lamb, L. L. (2016). Regular numbers and mathematical worlds. For the Learning of Mathematics, 36(2), 20–25.

Current Projects/Grants:

Dr. Bishop is working on two main research projects. She is currently working on a NSF-funded CAREER grant entitled Characterizing Critical Aspects of Productive Mathematics Classroom Discourse. As a former high school mathematics teacher, Dr. Bishop often wondered what aspects of her teaching made a difference in student learning, identities, and dispositions toward mathematics. She noticed that much of the time in mathematics classrooms is spent talking, but not all talk is mathematically productive. The purpose of this project, then, is to identify key elements of mathematics discussions that encourage students to generate, explain and defend mathematical ideas and to make connections between concepts. Bishop and her research team are systematically documenting the details of student-teacher interactions in middle grades mathematics classrooms. They are analyzing trends and shifts in discourse across different curricular topics, grade levels, and teachers in schools with student populations from a wide variety of backgrounds to identify what it is that teachers and students are doing in productive mathematics conversations. Dr. Bishop is also finishing another NSF-funded grant, Mapping Developmental Trajectories of Students’ Conceptions of Integers (Project Z). In this project Bishop and her colleagues studied students’ ways of reasoning about negative numbers across K-12. For example, have you ever wondered why 6 – -2 = 6 + 2? Or what percentage of second graders could solve 3 – 5 = ? Or how children extend their number systems below zero? Dr. Jessica Bishop and her SDSU colleagues Drs. Lisa Lamb and Randy Philipp have found surprising answers from their research on children’s mathematical thinking in K–12 classrooms. They have conducted over 250 interviews with K-12 students as part of the work of the grant with the larger goal of analyzing students’ conceptions of integers and mapping possible developmental trajectories of students’ integer reasoning. (For more information see the project website at )