Judith Herb College of Education

 Associate Professor

Bebra JohanningDebra Johanning
Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Gillham Hall Room 2000V
Mail Stop 924
Phone:  419.530.5275
Fax :     419.530.2466

Professional Biography

Debra Johanning is an Associate Professor of mathematics education in the University of Toledo’s department of Curriculum and Instruction in the Judith Herb College of Education. She teaches mathematics education courses to early childhood and middle grades pre-service teachers. She also works with graduate students and practicing teachers who are pursing degrees where they specialize in mathematics education.  Dr. Johanning joined the faculty at the University of Toledo in 2004 after receiving a Ph.D. in Teaching, Learning and Educational Policy with a focus on mathematics education from Michigan State University. Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., she taught middle grades mathematics for 10 years.


Research Interest and Professional Activities

Dr. Johanning’s interests include the teaching and learning of rational number as well as algebra and algebraic thinking. As a graduate student, Dr. Johanning worked with the authors of the middle grades Connected Mathematics Project (CMP) curriculum. Her interest in supporting teachers to implement student-centered inquiry-based curriculum such as CMP has led several professional development grants including the Ohio Board of Regents funded K-5 Algebraic Thinking Initiative and the Middle Grades Mathematics Initiative: Rational Number and Algebra. In 2010, Dr. Johanning was awarded an Early CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation to support her project Teaching Practices That Support Fraction-Based Algorithmic Thinking.


Dr. Johanning serves as a member of the working group to support the Ohio Department of Education adopt and implement new K-12 mathematics standards for the state of Ohio. In addition, she is editor of the “Informing Practice” department featured in the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics journal Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School.


Select Publications (see vita for a more complete listing)

Johanning, D. I. (2010). Designing curricula to grow and extend mathematical
      knowledge. In R. Reys & B. Reys (Eds.), K-12 mathematic curriculum: Issues,
      trends, and future directions
. NCTM 2010 Yearbook (pp. 171-180). Reston,
      VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.


Johanning, D. I. (2008). Learning to use fractions: Examining middle school 
      students’emerging fraction literacy. Journal for Research in
      Mathematics Education, 39
(8), 281-310.


Johanning, D. I. (2004). Supporting the development of algebraic thinking in middle 
      school: A closer look at students’ informal strategies. Journal of Mathematical
, 23(4), 371-388.


Steele, D. F., & Johanning, D. I. (2004). A schematic-theoretical view of problem
      solving and the development of algebraic thinking. Educational Studies in
      Mathematics, 57, 65-90.


Last Updated: 6/26/15