Nicora Placa

Photo of Nicora Placa

Assistant Professor

Nicora Placa is an assistant professor in mathematics education. She is also co-coordinator of the Clinically-Rich Childhood Education Program: Track 2. Previously, she taught elementary and middle school mathematics in New York City. She is passionate about supporting teachers, honoring their expertise, and creating learning opportunities for them to hone their craft. Her first book “6 Tools for Collaborative Mathematics Coaching” was published by Stenhouse in 2023. She also serves as Coaching Coordinator on the NCSM Leadership in Mathematics Education Board.

  • Ph.D., Mathematics Education, September 2017, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development New York University, New York, NY.
  • Master of Science in Education, May 2005 Mercy College, New Teacher Residency Program, Dobbs Ferry, NY New York City Teaching Fellow.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Bachelor of Arts in Communication, May 2000 University of Pennsylvania, College of Arts and Sciences, Philadelphia, PA.
  • CEDC 705: Mathematics Curriculum and Methods
  • QSTA 406: Mathematics Teaching and Learning in Elementary School
  • CEDC 739: Advanced Methods in Elementary School: Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
  • EDUC 803: Research on Effective Practice and Curriculum in Math
  • CEDC 772/773/774/775: Supervised Student Teaching and Seminar
  • EDUC 806: Effective Professional Development of Teachers

Dr. Placa’s research focuses on exploring mathematics professional development and coaching. She is particularly interested in studying how we honor teachers as professionals and guide them in their understanding of students’ thinking throughout their careers. Her research is grounded in a commitment to providing all students with access to rich mathematical learning opportunities.

  • Placa, N. Nick, C.; & Lee, J. (2024). “I Don’t Back Away from a Fight”: Examining First Year Undergraduate Latinas’ Perseverance in STEM. Journal for STEM Education Research.
  • Koellner, K., Seago, N., Riske, A., Placa, N., & Carlson, D. (2024). Teachers’ perceptions and uptake of professional development overtime. International Journal of Educational Research.
  • Placa, N. (2023). Listening to Learn: Investigating how Teacher Leaders Elicit and Attend to Students’ Mathematical Thinking in Clinical Interviews. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education.
  • Placa, N., Koellner, K., & Seago, N (2023). How Using Visual Representations May Provide Teacher Leaders with a Tool for Supporting Sustained Teacher Learning. Journal for Math Education Leadership.
  • Simon, M. A., Placa, N., Avitzur, A., & Kara, M. (2018). Promoting a Concept of Fraction-As-Measure: A Study of Learning Through Activity. Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 52, 122-133.
  • Simon, M. A., Placa, N., Kara, M., & Avitzur, A. (2018). Empirically-based hypothetical learning trajectories for fraction concepts: Products of the Learning Through Activity research program. Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 52, 188-200.
  • Kara, M., Simon, M. A., & Placa, N. (2018). An empirically-based trajectory for fostering abstraction of equivalent fraction concepts: A study of Learning Through Activity Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 52, 134-150.
  • Simon, M. A., Kara, M., Placa, N., (2018). Promoting reinvention of a multiplication of fractions algorithm: A study of the Learning Through Activity Research Program. Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 52, 174-187.
  • Simon, M. A., Kara, M., Placa, N., & Avitzur, A. (2018). Towards an integrated theory of mathematics conceptual learning and instructional design: The Learning Through Activity theoretical framework. Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 52, 95-112.
  • Simon, M. A., Kara, M., Norton, A., & Placa, N. (2018). Fostering construction of a meaning for multiplication that subsumes whole-number and fraction multiplication: A study of the Learning Through Activity Research Program. Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 52, 151-173.
  • Simon, M.A., Placa, N. & Avitzur, A. (2016). Participatory and Anticipatory Stages of Mathematical Concept Learning: Further Empirical and Theoretical Development. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 47(1), 63-93.
  • Simon, M. A., Kara, M., Placa, N., & Sandir, H. (2016). Categorizing and promoting reversibility of mathematical concepts. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 93(2), 137-153.
  • Placa, N. & Simon, M.A. (2012). Demonstrating The Usefulness Of The Participatory-Anticipatory Distinction. Proceedings of the Thirty-Fourth Annual Conference of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education(pp. 1156-1162). Kalamazoo, MI: Western Michigan University.
  • Simon, M. A., & Placa, N. (2012). Reasoning about intensive quantities in whole-number multiplication: A possible basis for ratio understanding. For the Learning of Mathematics, 32(2), 35-41.
  • Co-Principal Investigator, National Science Foundation HSI Institutional Grant: “Achieving equitable persistence in STEM: A data-informed student-centered transformation of the first-year experience,” 2022-2026, $2,991,406
  • Co-Principal Investigator, National Science Foundation DRK-12 Research Grant: “Investigating Impact of Different Types of Professional Development on What Aspects Mathematics Teachers Take Up And Use in Their Classroom,” 2018–2024, $1,983,000