Associate Professor of Mathematical Sciences
B.A. in Mathematics, minor in economics, Olivet College
M.A. in Education, Eastern Michigan University
Ph.D. in Statistics, University of Texas at Arlington
Dr. Pierce’s early research interests included Bayesian analysis of attribute sampling for an industrial setting. Upon her arrival at Ball State, her focus became oriented toward statistics education, as well as gifted and talented education in particular as it is related to statistics and mathematics. Dr. Pierce has worked on numerous collaborative projects including several federal grants awarded by the National Science Foundation and the Jacob K. Javits Education Program. These projects focused on professional development for teachers and students’ career development. Dr. Pierce and her colleagues have been awarded more than $6,000,000 from external sources.
Most recently, she and a group of collaborators from universities across the country are conducting research on statistics teaching efficacy for middle and secondary mathematics teachers. The group began the collaboration in 2007 developing the Self-Efficacy to Teach Statistics (SETS) instruments. The overall validity argument for scores from the SETS integrates Rasch measurement theory and Kane’s validation argument framework. Currently, the SETS instruments are being used in practice as well as for research by numerous educators.
Dr. Pierce has author or co-authored numerous professional articles and presentations related to statistics, statistics education, mathematics, and gifted education. Along with colleague Dr. Cheryll Adams, she has co-authored 5 books on differentiated instruction for elementary and middle school teachers.
A longtime advocate for providing awareness of opportunities for female participation in STEM fields, for 16 years Dr. Pierce directed the Ball State MATH DAY for middle school girls from area schools. Each year the event was dedicated to the memory of Dr. Bernadette H. Perham for her many accomplishments in the area of gender equity.
Jointly with Dr. Perham, Dr. Pierce was a recipient of the Vivian Conley Award for excellence in Education. She was awarded the Leadership Award by the Indiana Association for the Gifted and the Virginia Jenckes Award for outstanding contributions in the field of Education by the Gender Fairness Foundation and the Indiana Commission for Women. Her service contributions were recognized by the university when she was given the 2005-2006 Award for Outstanding Faculty Service.
Dr. Pierce has served as director of the BSU Australia Center in 2002-2003 and director of the BSU London Center in 2009-2010 and 2011-20012. On each occasion, she supervised a large group of BSU students and a graduate assistant during their semester long stay in Australia or London, managed Australian or British faculty members, taught mathematics and statistics courses, and administered the budget.
Each summer since 2000, Dr. Pierce directs the BIG M program, a residential program for mathematically gifted 5th and 6th graders from across the state. This week long program engages girls and boys in mathematical topics not typically presented during the regular school year.
Selected Publications / Projects:
- Harrell-Williams, L.M., Lovett, J. N., Sorto, M. A., Pierce, R. L., Lesser, L.M. & Murphy, T.J. (under review). “Using the SETS Level A Items to Classify Pre-service Teachers’ Self-Efficacy to Teach Statistics: An Application of the Mixture Rasch Model”. In M.A. Sorto (Eds.), Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Teaching Statistics (ICOTS10, July, 2018), Kyoto, Japan.
- Ober, D., Beekman, J.A., and Pierce, R.L. (2018) Analyzing Four-Year Public University and Two-Year College Graduation Rates, Journal of Education and Training Studies, 6(4), 221-247.
- Zimmermann, P. A., Stallings, L. Pierce, R. L. & Largent, D. L. (Submitted manuscript for review December 2017.) "Classroom Interaction Redefined: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Moving Beyond Traditional Classroom Spaces to Promote Student Engagement." Journal of Learning Spaces.
- Harrell-Williams, L.M., Lovett, J. N., Pierce, R. L., Sorto, M. A., Lee, H. L., & Lesser, L.M. (2017). “The middle grades SETS instrument: Psychometric comparison of middle and high school pre-service mathematics teachers.” In E. Galindo & J. Newton, (Eds.), Proceedings of the 39th annual meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (pp. 1064-1067). Indianapolis, IN: Hoosier Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators.
- Harrell-Williams, L.M., Lovett, J.N., Lee, H.S., Pierce, R.L., Lesser, L.M., & Sorto, M.A. (in press). Validation of scores from the high school version of the Self-Efficacy to Teach Statistics (SETS-HS) instrument using pre-service mathematics teachers. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment. Published online, October 2017.
- Harrell-Williams, L.M., Sorto, M.A., Pierce, R.L., Lesser, L.M., & Murphy, T.J. (2015). Identifying statistical concepts associated with high and low levels of self-efficacy to teach statistics in middle grades. Journal of Statistics Education, 23(1), 1–20.
- Pierce, R. L., Harrell, L. M., Sorto, M. A., Murphy, T. J., Lesser, L. M. (2014). Using the SETS Instruments to investigate sources of variation in levels of pre-service teacher efficacy to teach statistics. ICOTS9 Proceedings.
- Adams, C. M. & Pierce, R. L. Science, Elementary. In J. Plucker & C. Callahan (Eds.), Critical issues and practices in gifted education, (2nd ed.) pp 551-564 (2014)
- Harrell-Williams, L.M, Sorto, M.A., Pierce, R.L., Murphy, T.J., & Lesser, L.M. Validation of scores from a measure of teachers’ self-efficacy to teach middle grades statistics. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment. First published on May 6, 2013 as doi: 10.1177/073428291348625
- Adams, C. M., & Pierce, R. L. “Differentiated Classroom Observation Scale – Short Form” In The Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Conference of the European Teacher Education Network. (2012) (Download from http://www.eten-online.org/modules/sjt_publications/)
- Adams, C. M., & Pierce, R. L. Differentiation That Really Works: Math, Grades 6-12. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press, 2012.
- Adams, C. M., & Pierce, R. L. Differentiation That Really Works: Science, Grades 6-12. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press, 2012.
- Adams, C. M., & Pierce, R. L. Differentiation That Really Works: Language Arts, Grades 6-12. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press, 2012.
- Pierce, R. L., Cassady, J. C., & Adams, C. M. "The effects of clustering and curriculum development on gifted learners’ math achievement." Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 34(4). (2011)
- Adams, C. M. & Pierce, R. L. Differentiation That Really Works: Strategies From Real Teachers for Real Classrooms, Grades K-2. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press, 2011
- Adams, C. M. & Pierce, R. L. Differentiation That Really Works: Strategies From Real Teachers for Real Classrooms, Grades 3-5. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press, 2010
- Latz, A. O., Speirs Neumeister, K. L., Adams, C. M., & Pierce, R. L. “Peer coaching to improve classroom differentiation: Perspectives from Project CLUE.” Roeper Review, 31, 27-39. (2009)
- R. L. Pierce, A. O. Latz, & C. M. Adams “Calculate the Possibilities: A Case Study.” Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, Vol. 15, No.4, (2009)
- Leigh M. Harrell, Rebecca L. Pierce, M. Alejandra Sorto, Teri J. Murphy, Lawrence M. Lesser, & Felicity B. Enders “On the Importance and Measurement of Pre-Service Teachers' Efficacy to Teach Statistics: Results and Lessons Learned from the Development and Testing of a GAISE-Based Instrument” In JSM Proceedings, Section on Statistical Education. Alexandria, VA: American Statistical Association. (2009)
- Project CLUE-Plus”, a U.S. Department of Education, Jacob K. Javits Gifted & Talented Students Program Priority One grant awarded to Ball State University. (Award $2.3 million, 2008-2013, Co-author, Co-Principal Investigator, and Mathematics Curriculum Coordinator.)
- Pierce, R. L. & Jameson-Cox, M. M. “Students’ Attitudes Toward Statistics: Are there differences among various majors?” In JSM Proceedings, Section on Statistical Education. Alexandria, VA: American Statistical Association. (2008)
- Bintz, W. P., Moore, S. D., Adams. C. M., Pierce, R. L., Kelly-Freer, T., Dutson, S., & Robinson, C. “Literacy Across the Curriculum: Using an Interdisciplinary Curricular Framework and Award-Winning Literature to Learn about the Man Who Solved One of the Most Important Problems of the 19th Century.” Proceedings of the 2008 Hawaii International Conference on Education, CD ROM (ISSN #1541-5880) (2008)
- Speirs Neumeister, K. L., Adams, C. M., Pierce, R. L., Cassady, J. C., & Dixon, F. D. “Fourth-grade teachers’ perceptions of giftedness: Implications for identifying and serving diverse gifted students.” Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 30(4), 479-499. (2007)
- Pierce, R. L., Adams, C. M., Speirs Neumeister, K. L. Cassady, J. C., Dixon, F. D., Cross, T. L. “Development of an identification procedure for a large urban school corporation: Identifying culturally diverse and academically gifted elementary students.” Roeper Review, 29, 113-118. (2007)
- Pierce, R. L. “SATS at Ball State University: Approaches and attitudes,” in A. Rossman & B. Chance (Eds.), Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Teaching Statistics. International Statistical Institute. (2006)
- Adams, C. M., & Pierce, R. L. Differentiating Instruction: A Practical Guide to Tiered Lessons in the Elementary Grades. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press, 2006.
- Pierce, R. L., Adams, C.M., & Speirs Neumeister, K. L. “A case for using nonverbal assessment to identify gifted minority students,” Journal of the European Teacher Education Network, Vol. 1, No. 2. (2006)
- Adams, C. M., & Pierce, R. L. “Creative thinking,” in F. Dixon & S. Moon (Eds.), Handbook of Secondary Gifted Education, pp 343-362. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press, 2006.
- “Project CLUE: Clustering Learners Unlocks Equity,” a U. S. Department of Education, Jacob K. Javits Gifted & Talented Students Program Priority One Grant awarded to Ball State University and Indianapolis Public Schools. (Award $2.5 million, 2002-2007, Co-author and Mathematics Curriculum Coordinator.)
- “Gifted and Talented Enhancement Project GATE: Opening the Door for All,” a Jacob K. Javits Gifted & Talented Students Education Program Grant awarded to Ball State University and Indianapolis Public Schools. (Award $827,422, 1999-2002, Mathematics Curriculum Strand Developer for grades K-12.)
- Perham, B. & Pierce, R. L. “Calculate the Possibilities: A program in mathematics and science for young women,” in Changing Faces of Mathematics: Perspectives on Gender. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Reston, VA, 2001.
- Pierce, R. L. & Kite, M. “Creating expectations in adolescent girls,” in Coming Into Her Own Educational Success in Girls and Women, Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco, 1999.
- National Science Foundation Grant, EHR Model Projects for Women and Girls. Project titled "Awareness, Skills, and Mentoring Add Up to Success for Girls in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Careers". (Award $164,598, 1995-1997, Co-PI and Grant Director.)
- Pierce, R. L. “Integrating data and activities into an introductory statistics course,” American Statistical Association 1997 Proceedings of the Section on Statistical Education. Annual Meeting of the American Statistical Association, Anaheim, California, August, 1997.
- Pierce, R. L. “CATS Two-Way Fast Feedback,” American Statistical Association 1996 Proceedings of the Section on Statistical Education. Annual Meeting of the American Statistical Association, Chicago, Illinois, August, 1996.
- Dyer, D. and Pierce, R. L. "Bayesian HPM intervals for the number of nonconforming items in a lot," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, 20. (1995)
- Dyer, D. and Pierce, R. L. "On the choice of the prior distribution in hypergeometric sampling," Communications in Statistics: Theory and Methods, Volume 22, Issue 8. (1993)