Kristen Reed

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Kristen Reed
Research Scientist

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313



Kristen Reed leads studies that provide new insights into early childhood education and early mathematics learning and teaching, with a focus on the link between teacher professional development and student outcomes. Her work reflects her commitment to designing resources and professional development that make mathematics fun, challenging, and engaging for children and teachers. Her recent work includes a particular focus on how beliefs about learning (“growth mindset”) affect teaching and learning.

Reed is the co-Principal Investigator (PI), with Jessica Young, of a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded study, Games for Young Mathematicians, which examines the relation between a teacher professional development intervention and low-income preschool children’s school readiness skills and mathematics learning. The intervention gives preschool teachers effective strategies, using mathematics games and activities, to support children’s growth mindset and persistence. (Read a related blog post by Reed.) She is also co-PI, with Young and Heidi Rosenberg, of a Heising-Simons Foundation-funded project, Family Engagement in Early Mathematics, which is helping preschool teachers support families in enhancing their children’s early math learning through games and stories and studying the added benefits to children’s school readiness skills.

Reed is also leading mixed data analysis and contributing to the design and implementation of the Mathematics Instructional Materials project. Funded by NSF, this longitudinal study is examining school districts’ implementation of elementary mathematics instructional materials (Everyday Mathematics or Investigations in Number, Data, and Space). Reed is studying the relation between district and school support for implementation, the school’s level of use of the materials, and the effects on student outcomes.  

Previously, Reed contributed to the development of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers (PARCC) K–2 formative assessment tasks. She also co-directed the NSF-funded Thinking About Mathematics Instruction study, which examined how K–8 principals’ understanding of mathematics teaching and learning impacts their instructional leadership in mathematics. As part of EDC’s Mathematics Leadership Program, she coordinates the Lenses on Learning outreach efforts and partners with districts and organizations nationwide to offer professional development in mathematics for K–12 school administrators.

Reed has coauthored publications on mathematics education and on teacher professional development including, “Designing K–12 Formative Assessment Tasks,” “Mathematical Structure and Error in Kindergarten,” and “From Critic to Catalyst.” Before joining EDC, she taught 4th and 5th grade at a pilot school in Boston during the years when the Boston Public Schools were scaling up the implementation of Investigations in Number, Data, and Space.

She has a BA in anthropology and a master’s degree in international comparative education from Stanford University, and an MEd in elementary education from Lesley University.