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Bethany Rittle-Johnson

Professor of Psychology & Human Development
Chair of the Department of Psychology and Human Development

Professor Rittle-Johnson's research focuses on understanding how knowledge change occurs. Her specific interests are in how children learn problem-solving procedures and key concepts in mathematics. For example, what roles do comparison or generating explanations have in promoting learning of concepts and procedures? What early math knowledge supports later math knowledge? This research bridges between psychological theory and educational practice, and Professor Rittle-Johnson also collaborates with teachers and educational researchers to apply and test her research in educational settings.


She describes her research interests and what led to them in a 2015 interview here

Current Research Projects:

Recently Completed Research Projects:

Lab Website

Representative Publications

Zippert, E.^, Douglas, A.,* & Rittle-Johnson, B. (in press). Preschoolers’ broad mathematics experiences with parents during play. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.

Douglas, A.*, Zippert, E.^, & Rittle-Johnson, B. (2019) Parent-Child Talk about Early Numeracy: The Role of Context and Parents’ Math Beliefs. Iris Journal of Scholarship, 1, 48-68. https://doi.org/10.15695/iris.v1i0.4659

Fyfe, E.*, Rittle-Johnson, B., & Farran, D. (2019). Predicting success on high-stakes math tests from preschool math measures among children from low-income homes. Journal of Educational Psychology. 111(3), 402-413. dx.doi.org/10.1037/edu0000298

Rittle-Johnson, B, Zippert, E. L. ^, Boice, K. L.* (2019). The Roles of Patterning and Spatial Skills in Early Mathematics Development. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 46, pp. 166-178. DOI 10.1016/j.ecresq.2018.03.006

Zippert, E.,^ Clayback, K.* & Rittle-Johnson, B. (2019). Not Just IQ: Patterning Predicts Preschoolers’ Math Knowledge Beyond Fluid Reasoning.  Journal of Cognition and Development, 20, 752-771. doi: 10.1080/15248372.2019.1658587

Zippert, E. ^ & Rittle-Johnson, B. (2019). The home math environment: More than numeracy. Early Childhood Research Quarterly.  10.1016/j.ecresq.2018.07.009

 Rittle-Johnson, B, Zippert, E. L. ^, Boice, K. L.* (2018). Data on preschool children's math, patterning, and spatial knowledge. Data in Brief, 20, pp. 196-199. DOI 10.1016/j.dib.2018.07.061

Gresalfi, M., Rittle-Johnson, B., Loehr, A.* & Nichols, I.* (2018). Design matters: Explorations of Content and Design in Fraction Games. Educational Technology Research and Development, 66, 579–596. DOI: 10.1007/s11423-017-9557-7.

Chu, J.,* Rittle-Johnson, B., & Fyfe, E.* (2017). Diagrams benefit symbolic problem solving. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 87, 273-287. DOI: 10.1111/bjep.12149.

*student (graduate or undergraduate); ^post-doc