Michael Shaughnessy

Professional Title
About Me (Bio)
Mike Shaughnessy has taught mathematics content courses and directed professional development experiences for mathematics teachers at all levels, K–12, as well as community college and university. He has authored or coauthored more than 60 articles, books, and book chapters on issues in the teaching and learning of mathematics. From 1996 to 2008 Shaughnessy served as the director of the doctoral program in mathematics education at Portland State University, Portland, Oregon. Throughout his career, his principal research interests in mathematics education have been the teaching and learning of statistics and probability and the teaching and learning of geometry.

A principal focus of Shaughnessy’s research has been students’ understanding of chance and data, and he has attempted to explore, synthesize, and build on the contributions of psychologists and mathematics and statistics educators alike to strengthen knowledge related to students’ learning about data and chance. Syntheses developed by Shaughnessy of research into how students think and learn about probability and statistics have appeared in the chapters “Probability and Statistics: Reflections and Directions” and “Research on Statistics Learning and Reasoning” in the first and second editions, respectively, of the Handbook of Research on Mathematics Teaching and Learning, a project of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (1992, 2007).

From 2004 to 2008, Shaughnessy directed a four-year NSF ROLE (Research on Learning and Education) project to investigate middle and secondary students’ conceptions of variability and distribution in statistics.

Shaughnessy served as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) from 2001 to 2004, and in April 2010, he began a two-year term as NCTM President.

Shaughnessy received his Ph.D. in mathematics education from the Department of Mathematics at Michigan State University in 1976. He taught in the Department of Mathematics at Oregon State University from 1976 until 1991, and at Portland State University in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics from 1991 to 2008.