Martha Carr

Martha CarrWilliam A. Owens Award 2011

Martha Carr, Aderhold Distinguished Professor of Educational Psychology, and Research Fellow, UGA Institute of Behavioral Research, studies the factors that promote or inhibit mathematics achievement or “literacy” at various ages and educational stages.

Her first work to attract national attention — the application of self-regulating theory to mathematics — was groundbreaking in that it had been applied to reading and memory but never to mathematics. It has advanced both theory and practice by explaining how many factors combine to influence the development (or not) of more advanced mathematical skills, including metacognition, beliefs, effort and ability, self-confidence, and gender. Her longitudinal studies follow children over the course of many years and emphasize the interplay of psychological factors over time.

Her work, funded by more than $700,000 in federal grants, provides critical recommendations for improved mathematics instruction, especially in the elementary school years — and has led to notable strategies for closing the gender gap in mathematics learning.