Douglas H. Clements, PhD '83

SUNY Distinguished Professor, University at Buffalo

Douglas Clements

Douglas Clements, PhD, has published over 125 refereed research studies, 18 books, 70 chapters and 275 additional publications in math education, educational technology and early childhood education. Clements, who earned his doctorate in elementary education from the University at Buffalo, joined the UB faculty in 1988 and since then has secured more than $23 million in grant funding for the university.

Clements and colleague Julie Sarama are currently conducting seven research projects funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Institute of Education Sciences (IES, U.S. Department of Education). In the first NSF-funded project, they are developing an interdisciplinary preschool curriculum, including math, science, literacy/language and social-emotional development. In the second, they are developing a state-of-the-art assessment of early math, using advanced statistical techniques and computer-aided testing to measure students’ development along research-based learning trajectories. In the third NSF-funded project, they are developing and refining learning trajectories for geometric measurement.

Clements and Sarama’s IES-funded projects involve large-scale experimental evaluations of curricula. In one, they are evaluating whether self-regulation and math instruction can be combined synergistically. In another suite of projects, they are studying models for scaling up successful interventions. Their TRIAD (Technology-enhanced, Research-based, Instruction, Assessment, and professional Development) model, developed in an earlier funded project, provides research-based guidelines for taking curricula to scale. Their evaluations of the TRIAD model have implemented their early childhood math curriculum, Building Blocks, which itself was developed, tested and refined with NSF funding. All of the projects are concerned with underrepresented children, whose potential for learning math is often not realized. Results have been positive, and the TRIAD model is receiving increasing national attention.

Clements was a member of former President Bush’s National Math Advisory Panel, charged to advise the president and the secretary of education on means to implement effective math education, including the evaluation and effective use of the research related to proven-effective and evidence-based math education. He co-authored the panel’s report, Foundations for Success: The Final Report of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel.