Courtney Nagle, Ph.D.

Department Chair, Secondary Education in Mathematics
Associate Professor of Mathematics Education, Mathematics and Secondary Education in Mathematics
Office Phone: 814-898-6471
Office Location: 81 Benson
Mailing Address:
ERIE, PA 16563

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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.