Courtney Nagle, Ph.D.

Courtney Nagle, Ph.D.
Department Chair, Secondary Education in Mathematics
Associate Professor of Mathematics Education, Mathematics and Secondary Education in Mathematics
Office Phone
Office Location
81 Benson
ERIE PA 16563

In 2012, Courtney received her Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from The University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. Her dissertation investigated key prerequisite notions for an introductory notion of limit, describing a partial learning trajectory for the limit concept. Prior to receiving her Ph.D., Courtney received her M.A. in Mathematics from Bowling Green State University (2006) and her B.A. in Mathematics and Pennsylvania Secondary Teaching Certificate in Mathematics from Edinboro University (2004). In addition to teaching and researching, Courtney enjoys doing professional development with pre-service and in-service mathematics teachers.


Teaching Specialties

  • Calculus
  • Mathematics Methods Courses

Teaching Statement

Just as a highly-skilled teacher should design instruction to accommodate the desired learning outcomes, my teaching philosophy is a product of my vision for the learning outcomes of high-quality mathematics education. My vision for mathematics education is to prepare students to reason and make sense of mathematical problems. I aim to develop students who are able to analyze a problem, implement a strategy, use connections across contexts and representations, and reflect on their solutions (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), 2009). 

In order to build students' conceptual understanding of mathematics while promoting their ability to reason mathematically, I focus on helping students make sense of mathematical content. Although I believe students must still master basic facts and procedures, I also believe that when these procedures make sense, students will (1) have a much easier time remembering them and (2) be able to reformulate them if forgotten. In mathematics methods courses, my goal is to prepare the pre-service teachers to instill conceptual understanding of mathematics in their future students. I strive to equip pre-service teachers with (1) the pedagogical skills and strategies and (2) the specialized content knowledge required to teach high-quality lessons that promote reasoning and sense-making.


Research Interests

My research interests naturally follow the dual-emphasis of mathematics and education in my professional and educational backgrounds. I believe that improvements to instruction and pedagogical practices stem from a deeper understanding of the cognitive development of the mathematical concepts. Thus, I strive to understand the development of particular mathematical concepts more thoroughly in order to improve the teaching of these concepts. Specifically, I have investigated the development of students’ concept images of the mathematical topics of limits and slope. I am also interested in sociomathematical culture and its influence in the teaching and learning of mathematics.

Funded Projects and Grants

In Progress:

  • Math: Conference: Collaborations Between Academic Levels to Promote Successful Student Transitions from Secondary to Post-Secondary Mathematics, P.I. Courtney Nagle (with Jodie Styers), National Science Foundation, $49956, October 2015-October 2017.


  • Integrating technology-rich instruction of urban students into the mathematics education curriculum, P.I. Courtney Nagle (with Joseph Previte and Jodie Styers), National Science Foundation, $159,901, September 2012-August 2015.
  • On-Line Design Grant for MATH 021. Nagle, C.R. (principal investigator), M. Kertis (co-principal investigator), and J. Styers (co-principal investigator). Penn State Erie, The Behrend College Internal Grant, $5,000. 2010.
  • Integrating Key Nursing Concepts and Processes into The Mathematics Curriculum. Nagle, C.R. (principal investigator), M. Kertis (co-principal investigator), J.A. Carrick (co-principal investigator), and D.M. Goodwin (co-principal investigator). Pennsylvania State University Schreyer Institute Teaching Support Grant, $8,000. 2008.

Professional Noticing on a Statistical Task, Investigations in Mathematics Learning - 2020
Collaborators: Stephanie Casey; Michele Carney

Teachers’ Noticing of Students’ Slope Statements: Attending and Interpreting, Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education - October, 2020
Collaborators: Jodie Styers, Author; Deborah Moore-Russo, Co-Author

University Calculus Students' Use and Understanding of Slope Conceptualizations, Proceedings of 2020 Conference on Research in Undergraduate Mathematics
Collaborators: Susan Bateman; Deborah Moore-Russo

The Effects of Video-Based Pre-Lab Instruction on College Students' Attitudes and Achievement in the Digital Era, The Electronic Journal for Research in Science & Mathematics Education - November, 2019
Collaborators: Luciana Aronne; Jodie Styers; Adam Combs; Jay George

The APOS-Slope Framework and Its Implications - October, 2019
Collaborators: Deborah Moore-Russo, Co-Author; Rafael Martinez-Planell, Co-Author

Using APOS Theory as a Framework for Considering Slope Understanding, The Journal of Mathematical Behavior - June, 2019
Collaborators: Rafael Martinez-Planell; Deborah Moore-Russo

Using Literature as a Lens into the Standards for Mathematical Practice - 2018

Procedural and Conceptual Dificulties with Slope: An Analysis of Students' Mistakes on Routine Tasks - 2017
Collaborator: Peter Cho, Author

Teachers' interpretations of student statements about slope - 2017
Collaborators: Jodie Styers; Deborah Moore-Russo

Procedural and Conceptual Difficulties with Slope: An Analysis of Students' Mistakes on Routine Slope Tasks, International Journal of Research in Education & Science - 2017
Collaborator: Peter Cho

The Notion of Motion: Building a Strong Dynamic View of a Limit in Introductory Calculus through Covariational Reasoning, International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology (TMES) - 2017
Collaborators: Tyler Tracy, Co-Author; Gregory Adams, Co-Author; Daniel Scutella, Co-Author

Slope and Line of Best Fit: A Transfer of Knowledge Case Study, School Science and Mathematics - 2017
Collaborators: Stephanie Casey, Co-Author; Deborah Moore-Russo, Co-Author

A Framework for Describing Conceptions of Slope - 2016
Collaborators: Deborah Moore-Russo, Author; Rafael Martinez-Planell

Students' Use of Slope Conceptualizations when Reasoning about the Line of Best Fit, Educational Studies in Mathematics - June, 2016
Collaborator: Stephanie Casey, Author

The Role of Slope in Conceptualizing the Line of Best Fit - 2015
Collaborators: Stephanie Casey, Secondary Author; Deborah Moore-Russo, Secondary Author

Understanding future teachers' intended instruction and assessment of slope - 2015
Collaborator: Deborah Moore-Russo

Putting Mathematical Tasks into Context, Mathematics Teacher - October, 2015
Collaborator: Jodie Styers

Examining the Roles of Mathematics Teacher Leaders by Reviewing Research on the Topic of Slope , PCTM Magazine - January, 2015
Collaborator: Deborah Moore-Russo

Slope Across the Curriculum: Principles and Standards for School Mathematics and the Common Core State Standards , The Mathematics Educator - 2014
Collaborator: Deborah Moore-Russo, Co-Author

Examining Limits with the Content Engagement Model - July, 2014
Collaborator: Deborah Moore-Russo

How Do Teachers' Concept Images of Slope Relate to their Intended Instructional Foci?, Investigations in Mathematics Learning - 2013
Collaborator: Deborah Moore-Russo, Co-Author

Calculus Students’ and Instructors’ Conceptualizations of Slope: A Comparison Across Academic Levels, International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education - 2013
Collaborators: Deborah Moore-Russo, Co-Author; Janine Viglietti, Co-Author; Kristi Martin, Co-Author

Connecting Slope, Steepness, and Angles, Mathematics Teacher - November, 2013
Collaborator: Deborah Moore-Russo

Slope: A network of connected components - November, 2013
Collaborator: Deborah Moore-Russo

Transitioning from Introductory Calculus to Formal Limit Conceptions, For the Learning of Mathematics - July, 2013

A Comparison of College Instructors' and Students' Conceptualizations of Slope, Proceedings of the 34th annual meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education - October, 2012
Collaborator: Deborah Moore-Russo, Co-Author

An Introductory Investigation into College Instructors’ Conceptualizations of Slope - October, 2011

Contributed to the writing of the chapter projects - 2010

Contributed to the writing of the end of course tests - 2010

Contributed to the writing of the end of course tests - 2010

Using Predictions to Introduce Limits and Continuity, MathAMATYC Educator - September, 2009

Calling Plan Activity, Mathematics Teacher - March, 2009

Wendy's Burger Variations, Mathematics Teacher - March, 2009


Ph D, Mathematics Education, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

MA, Mathematics, Bowling Green State University

BA, Mathematics, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania