Michelle Cirillo


Professional Title: 
Assistant Professor
About Me (Bio): 
Michelle Cirillo, a former high school mathematics teacher, is now an associate professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Delaware. Her research interests include classroom discourse, important mathematical processes (i.e., proof and modeling), and teachers' use of curriculum materials. She is particularly interested in the space where these three areas intersect.
Citations of DRK-12 or Related Work (DRK-12 work is denoted by *): 
  • Cirillo, M. & Hummer, J. (under review). Proof as problem solving: How do students solve secondary geometry proofs? ZDM.*
  • Cirillo, M., & Hummer, J. (2019). Addressing misconceptions in secondary geometry proof. Mathematics Teacher, 112(6), 410-417.*
  • Cirillo, M. (2018). Engaging students with non-routine geometry proof tasks. In P. Herbst, U. H. Cheah, P. Richard, & K. Jones (Eds.) International Perspectives on the Teaching and Learning of Geometry in Secondary Schools, (pp. 283-300). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.*
  • Cirillo, M. & May, H. (in press). Decomposing proof in secondary classrooms: A promising intervention for school geometry. Paper accepted to ICME-14.*
  • Cirillo, M. & Pelesko, J. A. (in press). Mysteries, Models, and Mathematics: Mathematical Modeling in Secondary Classrooms.
University of Delaware (UD)

This project will develop an intervention to support the teaching and learning of proof in the context of geometry. This study takes as its premise that if we introduce proof, by first teaching students particular sub-goals of proof, such as how to draw a conclusion from a given statement and a definition, then students will be more successful with constructing proofs on their own.

Michigan State University (MSU), University of Delaware (UD), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UW-Milwaukee)

This project is developing, designing, and testing materials for professional development leaders (e.g., teacher educators, district mathematics specialists, secondary mathematic department chairs) to use in their work with secondary mathematics teachers. The aim is to help those teachers analyze the discourse patterns of their own classrooms and improve their skills in creating discourse patterns that emphasize high-level mathematical explanation, justification, and argumentation.