2011: Storytelling and Math

2011 Three Professors Publish Book That Combines Storytelling and Math

In 2011, Dr. Jane Wilburne, Dr. Jane Keat, and Dr. Mary Napoli published a book about how to teach mathematics to children using literature. They wrote Cowboys Count, Monkeys Measure, and Princesses Problem Solve: Building Early Math Skills through Storybooks because they wanted to share their strategies for finding mathematics in all kinds of literature, not just books that have numbers and shapes in them.

Each of these professors individually has an impressive list of accomplishments.

Dr. Wilburne, Associate Professor of Mathematics Education, earned her Ed.D. in Mathematics Education from Temple University. In 2015, she was appointed chair of the Teaching Children Mathematics journal editorial board, an official journal of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Dr. Napoli is an associate professor of reading and children’s literature, and one of her students told the Capitolite that Dr. Napoli is “one of the most enthusiastic teachers I’ve ever had.” The student said that in a course about children’s literature, Dr. Napoli started by reading a storybook to the class, which really caught the students’ attention. Dr. Napoli was a kindergarten teacher in the Poconos prior to earning her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on language and literacy and minor in Women’s Studies from Penn State.

Dr. Keat, Associate Professor of Education, earned the 2011 Pearson Merrill Outstanding Early Childhood Teacher Educator Award from National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators. She came to university teaching after working as a teacher and director of a faith-based preschool for 19 years. Like Dr. Napoli, she also holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Penn State, though her emphasis was on Early Childhood Education.


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