Department of Teaching & Learning

Candace Walkington

Associate Professor

Ph.D., University of Texas
6401 Airline Rd
Suite 301
Dallas, 75205
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Dr. Candace Walkington is an Associate Professor in Teaching and Learning at Southern Methodist University, specializing in mathematics education. She holds a B.S. and M.S. in Mathematics from Texas A&M University, and she is a former NSF-GK12 Fellow and college mathematics professor. She received her Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from University of Texas at Austin. She was also an IES Postdoctoral Fellow in Mathematical Thinking, Learning, and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Walkington was a recipient of a Spencer Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Grant. 

Dr. Walkington’s research examines how abstract mathematical ideas can become connected to students’ concrete, everyday experiences such that they become more understandable. She conducts research on “personalizing” mathematics instruction to students’ out of-school interests in areas like sports, music, shopping, and video games, and their intended careers like nursing or software design. She currently is PI on a $1 million NSF iTEST grant which examines how receiving mathematics instruction personalized to STEM career interests impacts students learning and attitudes towards math, as well as their interest in STEM careers. She is also conducting research on the walkSTEM initiative, which connects math learning to art, architecture, and nature by having children and families take guided “math walks” together.


Dr. Walkington’s research further examines ways to connect mathematical practices with physical motions including gestures. She currently is co-PI on a $1.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education examining how directing learners to perform motions can help them come to understand mathematics better. This research takes place in a gaming environment for the Xbox Kinect called “The Hidden Village.” Players are directed to perform arm motions that embody different mathematical ideas, and then prove geometry conjectures

Dr. Walkington has worked with the UTeach secondary math and science teacher preparation program at the University of Texas at Austin, as well as the Gates Foundation’s Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) Project. She teaches courses for pre-service and in-service mathematics teachers, and co-direct’s SMU’s Master Mathematics Teacher program.

Recent Publications:

Walkington, C. & Marder, M. (2018). Using the UTeach Observation Protocol (UTOP) to understand the quality of mathematics instruction. ZDM Mathematics Education, 50, 507-519. DOI: 10.1007/s11858-018-0923-7

Bernacki, M., & Walkington, C. (2018). The Role of Situational Interest in Personalized Learning. Journal of Educational Psychology. DOI: 10.1037/edu0000250

Walkington, C., Clinton, V., & Shivraj, P. (2018). How Readability Factors Are Differentially Associated with Performance for Students of Different Backgrounds When Solving Math Word Problems. American Educational Research Journal, 55(2), 362-414. DOI: 10.3102/0002831217737028

Walkington, C. & Bernacki, M. (2018). Personalization of Instruction: Design Dimensions and Implications for Cognition. Journal of Experimental Education, 86(1), 50-68.

Walkington, C. & Hayata, C. (2017). Designing Learning Personalized to Students’ Interests: Balancing Rich Experiences with Mathematical Goals. ZDM Mathematics Education, 49(4), 519-530. DOI: 10.1007/s11858-017-0842-z

Sherman, M., Walkington, C., & Howell, E. (2016). A comparison of Symbol-Precedence View in investigative and conventional textbooks used in Algebra courses. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 47(2), 134-146.

Walkington, C., & Bernacki, M. (2015). Students Authoring Personalized “Algebra Stories”: Problem-Posing in the Context of Out-of-School Interests. Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 40B, 171-191.

Walkington, C., Clinton, V., Ritter, S., & Nathan, M. J. (2015). How Readability and Topic Incidence Relate to Performance on Mathematics Story Problems in Computer-Based Curricula. Journal of Educational Psychology, 107(4), 1051-1074.

Nathan, M., Walkington, C., Boncoddo, R., Pier, E., Williams, C., & Alibali, M. (2014). Actions Speak Louder with Words:  The Roles of Action and Pedagogical Language for Grounding Mathematical Reasoning. Learning and Instruction, 33, 182-193.

Walkington, C., Sherman, M., & Howell, E. (2014). Personalized learning in algebra. Mathematics Teacher, 108(4), 272-279.

Walkington, C. (2013). Using learning technologies to personalize instruction to student interests: The impact of relevant contexts on performance and learning outcomes. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(4), 932-945.