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Sarah Lubienski, Education, (515) 294-3351
Joann Vaske, FINE Foundation, (515) 261-0004
Cathy Curtis, Education, (515) 294-8175
Kevin Brown, News Service, (515) 294-8986


AMES, Iowa -- Sarah Theule Lubienski, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction in the College of Education at Iowa State University, has earned a statewide honor for her research on cultural and gender equity in mathematics education.

Lubienski is the fourth annual recipient of the Thomas N. Urban Research Award. The award is sponsored by the FINE (First in the Nation in Education) Foundation, an education research organization based in Des Moines.

Her study focused on the reactions of seventh-grade students from differing socio-economic classes to learning mathematics through problem solving. Findings indicated that although higher socio-economic status (SES) students tended to display confidence and solve problems with an eye toward the intended mathematical ideas, the lower SES students preferred external direction and sometimes approached problems in a way that caused them to miss the intended mathematical points.

The research involves the need for teachers to support lower-SES students as they take on new roles in problem-centered mathematics classrooms, said Lubienski.

At Iowa State, Lubienski conducts research and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in mathematics education.

The Thomas N. Urban Research Award was created by the FINE Foundation to recognize outstanding educational research in Iowa. The award is named for Thomas N. Urban, director, Pioneer Hi-Bred International. Urban promoted the importance of research not only for industrial use but also to advance society and education.

Lubienski was selected for the award by the Iowa Academy of Education, a group of nationally- and internationally-known researchers. It is sponsored by the FINE Foundation.

Urban will present the research award to Lubienski at a ceremony in October. She will receive a $2,000 check from the FINE Foundation, as well as a $2,000 check from Urban.


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