Vicki Jacobs

Teacher Education and Higher Education (TEHE) Department

Yopp Distinguished Professor of Mathematics Education
Office: 472 SOE Building

Research Interest

Mathematics education, Children’s mathematical thinking, Teacher learning, Professional development, Elementary schools


  • Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • M.S. in Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • B.A. in Psychology, Dartmouth College


Dr. Jacobs focuses her research on understanding and supporting teacher learning. At the core of her work is the use of children’s mathematical thinking as a vehicle for helping teachers learn and create more equitable classrooms in which they can better understand, value, and support each child’s thinking. She has extensive experience facilitating professional development and is particularly interested in long-term collaborative relationships with elementary school teachers and schools. Her curiosity about children’s thinking began during her graduate work at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and has continued through her ongoing work with Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI).

Link to Dr. Jacobs’ CV

Current Research Project

Responsive Teaching in Elementary Mathematics (RTEM)


Jacobs, V. R., Empson, S. B., Pynes, D., Hewitt, A., Jessup, N., & Krause, G. (2019). The responsive teaching in elementary mathematics project. In P. Sztajn & P. H. Wilson (Eds.), Designing professional development for mathematics learning trajectories (pp. 75–103). New York: Teachers College Press.

Jacobs, V. R., & Spangler, D. A. (2017). Research on core practices in K–12 mathematics teaching. In J. Cai (Ed.), Compendium for research in mathematics education (pp. 766–792). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Jacobs, V. R., & Empson, S. B. (2016). Responding to children’s mathematical thinking in the moment: An emerging framework of teaching moves. ZDM–The International Journal on Mathematics Education, 48(1–2), 185–197.

Jacobs, V. R., Martin, H., Ambrose, R. C., Philipp, R. A. (2014). Warning signs for taking over children’s thinking. Teaching Children Mathematics, 21, 107–113.

Sherin, M. G., Jacobs, V. R., & Philipp, R. A. (Eds.). (2011). Mathematics teacher noticing: Seeing through teachers’ eyes. New York: Routledge.

Jacobs, V. R., Lamb, L. L. C., & Philipp, R. A. (2010). Professional noticing of children’s mathematical thinking. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 41(2), 169–202.

Jacobs, V. R. & Ambrose, R. C. (2008). Making the most of story problems. Teaching Children Mathematics, 15, 260–266.

Jacobs, V. R., Franke, M. L., Carpenter, T. P., Levi, L., & Battey, D. (2007). Professional development focused on children’s algebraic reasoning in elementary school. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 38(3), 258–288.