Dr.Karen Higgins is an Associate Professor in the College of Education at OSU. She has been at OSU since 1991. She received her PhD in Education from the University of Oregon in 1991. Prior to her doctoral work, she was a middle-school mathematics teacher for 14 years. She has been an active member of the Oregon Mathematics Community for almost 40 years, serving as President of the Oregon Council of Teachers of Mathematics in 1992.
She was instrumental in the national alternative assessment movement in mathematics and one of the original writers of Oregon’s Problem Solving Scoring Guide. Her most recent work was as a Co-PI of an NSF MSP (Mathematics/Science Partnership) grant, which spanned 5 years with an award of $5 million. This grant involved 180 K-12 teachers, 90 administrators, and mathematics faculty from all 17 higher education institutions in Oregon. Following this, she worked with Teachers Development Group as a consultant and coach in mathematics “studio classrooms” in Roseburg, Oregon, a powerful model of professional development for teachers and administrators. In 2001 she received OSU’s “Women of Achievement” award for her work with gender equity.
In 2010 she received OCTM’s Oscar Schaaf award for her work at the university level mentoring doctoral students as well as her work with pre-service teachers, keeping the spirit of problem solving and mathematical modeling at the forefront of her teaching. Her present research interests include mathematical problem solving; discourse in the mathematics classroom; and the impact of mathematics studio work on teachers, coaches, and students.