Candace Walkington

Associate Professor
Gerald J. Ford Research Fellow

Department of Teaching & Learning


Ph.D., University of Texas


6401 Airline Rd
Suite 301
Dallas, 75205



Dr. Candace Walkington is an Associate Professor and a Gerald J. Ford Research Fellow in the Department of 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. In 2019, Dr. Walkington received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from the U.S. Department of Education.

Dr. Walkington’s research examines how abstract mathematical ideas can become connected to students’ concrete, everyday experiences and “funds of knowledge,” such that mathematical ideas are 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 an 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 and create their own math walks.

Dr. Walkington’s research further examines ways to connect mathematical practices with physical motions including gestures, using AR, VR, and motion capture technologies. She currently is PI on a grant from the U.S. Department of Education examining how Augmented Reality (AR) technologies can allow students to collaborate using shared holograms of geometric shapes. Her work draws on embodied and distributed theories of cognition.

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.

Recent Publications

Walkington, C., & Bernacki, M. (2020). Appraising research on Personalized Learning: Definitions, theoretical alignment, advancements, and future directions. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 52(3), 235-252. DOI: 10.1080/15391523.2020.1747757

Smith, C., & Walkington, C. (2019). Four principles for designing embodied mathematics activities. Australian Mathematics Education Journal, 1(4), 16-20.

Walkington, C., Clinton, V., & Sparks, A. (2019). The effect of language modification of mathematics story problems on problem-solving in online homework. Instructional Science, 47(5), 499-529. doi: 10.1007/s11251-019-09481-6

Walkington, C., Woods, D., Nathan, M.J., Chelule, G., & Wang, M. (2019). Does restricting hand gestures impair mathematical reasoning? Learning and Instruction, 64.

Pier, E. L., Walkington, C., Clinton, V. E., Boncoddo, R., Williams-Pierce, C., Alibali, M.A., & Nathan, M. J. (2019). Embodied Truths: How Dynamic Gesture and Transformational Speech Contribute to Mathematical Proof Practices. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 58, 44-57.

Walkington, C., Chelule, G., Woods, D., & Nathan, M.J. (2019). Collaborative gesture as a case of extended mathematical cognition. Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 55, 1-20.

Walkington, C., & Bernacki, M. (2019). Personalizing Algebra to Students’ Interests: How Student Funds of Knowledge Moderate Outcomes. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 29, 58-88.