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College of Education

Molly Kelton

Molly L. Kelton, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Mathematics Education
Pullman campus
Cleveland Hall 331
Pullman, WA 99164


Curriculum Vitae
Research Interests

Dr. Molly Kelton aims to contribute to a world in which all members of society feel engaged and empowered to think deeply, expansively, and creatively about mathematics. Broadly, Dr. Kelton’s work seeks to critically examine and productively expand what counts as mathematics in contemporary society, with the goal of envisioning a more expansive and equitable mathematics education. Her research investigates mathematics learning in out-of-school time and across formal and informal environments, spanning K-12 classrooms, museums, maker spaces, and after-school clubs. She has contributed to research and design of several major mathematics exhibitions, including Math Moves! and Taping Shape. Across diverse settings, she also examines the role of physical movement and embodied experience in mathematical thinking and learning.

Dr. Kelton currently serves as co-Principal Investigator of the Informal Mathematics Collaborative, a partnership among university mathematics educators, art and science museums, and community organizations serving under-represented youth. The Informal Mathematics Collaborative is funded by the National Science Foundation and has contributed to the design and research of numerous innovative public programs and exhibitions that blend mathematics, science, and the arts. This work advances current efforts to understand the educational potential of learning environments that integrate Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM).

Teaching Interests

Dr. Kelton teaches methods of teaching mathematics courses for undergraduate prospective teachers. She also contributes to the PhD program in Mathematics and Science Education. Dr. Kelton is a 2017 Community Engagement Faculty Fellow through WSU’s Center for Civic Engagement, reflecting her efforts to incorporate authentic forms of community engagement into the preparation of future mathematics teachers.

Dr. Kelton was just awarded WSU’s competitive New Faculty Seed Grant for her work establishing the Health-sciences Education through Arts-based Learning (HEAL) partnership!
Upcoming Presentations – Come see Dr. Kelton speak!

Dr. Kelton will be presenting at the upcoming International Conference of the Learning Sciences in London, June 23 – 27, as part of a symposium entitled, “Video Data and the Learning Event: Four Case Studies.” Her paper, with co-author Jasmine Y. Ma, is entitled, “Reflections on Video-Based Techniques for Studying Bodies On-the-Move in an Immersive Mathematics Exhibition.”

Selected Funding

Kelton, M. L. (2016-2018). InforMath: Mathematics to Enrich Learning Experiences in Science and Art Museums. Research project in collaboration with colleagues at San Diego State University and the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center through the Advancing Informal STEM Learning Program of the National Science Foundation. Funding for the 2016 – 2018 sub-award to WSU (with Kelton as PI for the sub-award): $57,916. Kelton is a co-PI for the 2013-2018 multi-institution project with Nemirovsky, R. (lead PI) and Siboroski, P. (co-PI). Total funding for multi-institution project awarded: $1,517,474. Funded. (Awarded 2013, DRL-1323587).

Kelton, M. L., Owen, J. P., Danielson, R., & Butterfield, P. (2017). Collaborative Research Retreat for the Health-sciences Education through Arts-based Learning (HEAL) Partnership. Collaborative research retreat with WSU collaborators funded through WSU’s College of Education Collaborative Research Retreat Funding Awards. Kelton is PI with co-PI’s Owen (CAHNRS), Danielson (College of Education), and Butterfield (College of Medicine). Total funding: $855. Funded.

Kelton, M. L. (2017-2018). Gear-Up Professional Development Program. Kelton is sole PI on this rural professional development project in collaboration with Eureka Palouse! and the University of Idaho. Funded by private donation through WSU’s College of Education office of development. Total funding: $5,000. Funded.

Ma, J. Y., Kelton, M. L., Kirkland, D., Hoadley, C. (2017-2018). Provostial Seed Grant for: Making the Most of Mathematics in Out-of-School Time (MOST): Mapping and Designing for Youth’s Mathematics Learning Pathways Across Urban Settings. Research project in collaboration with colleagues from New York University. Kelton is co-PI with Ma, J. Y. (lead PI), Kirkland, D. (co-PI), and Hoadley, C. (co-PI). This seed grant is funded by NYU’s Provostial Mega-Grants Initiative Seed Funding. Total funding to NYU: $26,000. Funded.

Kelton, M. L., & Danielson, R. (2018-2019). Health Education through Arts-based Learning (HEAL): Establishing a New Partnership in Interdisciplinary STEM Education in Diverse Rural Communities. Proposal submitted to WSU’s New Faculty Seed Grant program. Kelton is lead PI with co-PI Danielson (College of Education). Total funding requested: $22,043. Funded.

Frost, J., Kelton, M. L., Lesseig, K., Roth McDuffie, A., Rougee, A., & Slabit, D. (2018). Collaborative Research Retreat for Coherence in Cross-campus Mathematics Education Programs: Thoery-building and implementation. Collaborative research retreat with WSU collaborators funded through WSU’s College of Education Collaborate Research Retreat Funding Awards. Kelton is a collaborating researcher. Total funding: $453. Funded.

Selected Publications

Kelton, M. L., Ma, J. Y., Rawlings, C., Rhodehamel, B., Saraniero, P., & Nemirovsky, R. (In Press). Family meshworks: Children’s geographies and collective ambulatory sense-making in an immersive mathematics exhibition. Children’s Geographies.

Kelton, M. L., & Ma, J. Y. (2018). Reconfiguring mathematical settings and activity through multi-party, whole-body collaboration. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 98(2), 177-196.

Kelton, M. L., & Saraniero, P. (2018). STEAM-y partnerships: Interdisciplinary professional development and collaboration. Journal of Museum Education, 43(1), 55-65. DOI 10.1080/10598650.2017.1419772

Nemirovsky, R., Kelton, M. L., & Civil, M.  (2017). Toward a vibrant and socially significant informal mathematics education.  In J. Cai (Ed.), Compendium for Research in Mathematics Education, (pp. 90 – 101). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Nemirovsky, R., & Kelton, M. L. (2016). Navigating turbulent waters: Objectivity, interpretation, and experience in the analysis of interaction.  In A. A. diSessa, M. Levin, & N. J. S. Brown (Eds.), Knowledge and interaction: A synthetic agenda for the learning sciences (pp. 458 – 479). New York, NY: Routledge.

Hall, R., Nemirovsky, R., Ma, J., & Kelton, M. L. (2016). Towards a generous* discussion of interplay between natural descriptive and hidden machinery approaches in knowledge and interaction analysis.  In A. A. diSessa, M. Levin, & N. J. S. Brown (Eds.), Knowledge and interaction: A synthetic agenda for the learning sciences (pp. 496 – 519). New York, NY: Routledge.

Ellis, J., Kelton, M. L., & Rasmussen, C. (2014).  Student perceptions of pedagogy and persistence in United States Calculus.  ZDM The International Journal on Mathematics Education, 46(4), 661-673.

Nemirovsky, R., Kelton, M. L., & Rhodehamel, B.  (2013).  Playing mathematical instruments: Emerging perceptuomotor integration with an interactive mathematics exhibit. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 44(2), 372-415.

Nemirovsky, R., Kelton, M. L., & Rhodehamel.  (2012).  Gesture and imagination: On the constitution and uses of phantasms. Gesture, 12(2), 130-165.

Washington State University