Research

Ian Thacker studies STEM teaching, learning, and teacher education. He uses qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate the role of attitudes, emotions, beliefs, biases, and epistemic cognition in conceptual change. He pursues three general strands of research focused on: (a) mathematical skills that can be leveraged to support conceptual change about scientific topics, (b) the use of technology for STEM teaching and learning, and (c) teacher beliefs and biases that contribute to gender- and race-based achievement gaps in STEM. He is the recipient of the 2020 USC Ph.D. Achievement Award and his research and collaborations has been funded by NSF, Gates, SSHRC, APA, and internal research awards.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Publications
  • Thacker, I. & Sinatra, G. M. (in press). Supporting Climate Change Understanding With Novel Data, Estimation Instruction, and Epistemic Prompts Journal of Educational Psychology.
  • Jacobson, J. G., Thacker, I., & Sinatra, G. (2021). The importance of emotions in mediating the backfire effect of refutation text. Discourse Processes. Advance online publication.
  • Kennedy, A., Thacker, I., & Sinatra G. M., Nye, B., Swartout, W., & Lyndsey, E. (2021). Promoting interest, positive emotions, and knowledge using augmented reality in a museum setting International Journal of Science Education, 11(3) 242-258.
  • MacNaul, H. L., Garcia, R., Civdini-Motta, C., & Thacker, I. (2021). Effect of Assignment Choice on Student Academic Performance in an Online Class.Behavior Analysis in Practice, 14, 1074-1078.
  • Copur-Gencturk, Y., & Thacker, I. (2021). A comparison of perceived and observed learning from professional development: Relationships among self-reports, direct assessments, and teacher characteristics. Journal of Teacher Education. 72(2), 138-151.
  • Thacker, I. (2020). An embodied design for grounding the mathematics of slope in students' perceptions of steepness. Research in Mathematics Education, 22(3), 304-328.
  • Thacker, I., Muis, K.R., Danielson, R.W., Sinatra G.M., Pekrun, R., Winne, P.H., & Chevrier, M. (2020). Using persuasive refutation texts to prompt attitudinal and conceptual change. Journal of Educational Psychology. 112(6), 1085-1099.
  • Copur-Gencturk, Y., Thacker, I. & Quinn, D.(2020). K-8 Mathematics teachers' overall and gender-specific beliefs about mathematical aptitude. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 19(6), 1251-1269.
  • Copur-Gencturk, Y., Robinson-Cimpian, J. P., Lubienski, S. T., & Thacker, I. (2020). Mathematics teachers' bias against the mathematical ability of female, black and hispanic students. Educational Researcher. 49 (1), 30-43.
  • Kim, A.Y. & Thacker, I. (2020). A good sine?: Seeking math help using online discussion boards. E-Learning and Digital Media, 17(1), 78-93.
  • Thacker, I. & Sinatra, G.M. (2019). Visualizing the greenhouse effect: Restructuring mental models of climate change through a guided online simulation. Educational Sciences, 9(1), 14.
Published Book Chapters and Conference Proceedings
  • Thacker, I., Copur-Gencturk, Y., & Cimpian, J. R. (in press). Teacher bias: A discussion with special emphasis on gender and STEM learning. In T. L. Good & M. McCaslin (Eds.), The Routledge Encyclopedia of Education: Educational Psychology Edition.
  • Thacker, I. (2020). Numerical estimation skills, epistemic cognition, and climate change: Mathematical skills and dispositions that can support science learning. To be published in the Proceedings of the Forty-Second Annual Meeting of the North-American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (pp. 1054-1062). Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico. ISBN: 978-1-7348057-0-3
  • Thacker, I. & Rasiej, R. (in press). Mathematics teachers’ epistemic dispositions and their relationship with teacher instruction and student learning: A systematic research synthesis. To be published in the Proceedings of the Forty-Second Annual Meeting of the North-American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (pp. 2126-2132). Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico. ISBN: 978-1-7348057-0-3
  • Copur-Gencturk, Y., Du, H., & Thacker, I. (in press). Differences in mathematical ability beliefs between teachers and mathematicians in higher education. To be published in the Proceedings of the Forty-Second Annual Meeting of the North-American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (pp. 573-577). Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico. ISBN: 978-1-7348057-0-3
  • Rodrigues, J. & Thacker, I. (2019) Refuting a Fraction Misconception: A Brief Intervention Promotes Teachers' Conceptual Change. To appear in the Proceedings of the Forty-First Annual Meeting of the North-American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (Vol. 8, pp. 731-735). St Louis, MA: University of Missouri. ISBN: 978-0-578-57791-3
  • Abrahamson, D., Bryant, M. J., Gutierrez, J. F., Mookerjee, A. V., Souchkova, D., & Thacker, I.E. (2009). Figuring it out: Mathematical learning as guided semiotic disambiguation of useful yet initially entangled intuitions. In S. L. Swars, D. W. Stinson & S. Lemons-Smith (Eds.), Proceedings of the Thirty-First Annual Meeting of the North-American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (Vol. 5, pp. 662-670). Atlanta, GA: Georgia State University. ISBN: 978-0-615-31397-9 [Author names are in alphabetical order]
Work Under Review
  • Thacker, I., Seyranian, V., Duong, N., & Beardsley, P. (under review). Social connectedness in physical isolation: Online teaching practices that support minoritized undergraduate students' belongingness and engagement in STEM.
Work in Progress
  • Thacker, I., Broadway, R., Sinatra, G., & Rasiej, R. (manuscript in preparation). Mathematics teachers' epistemic cognition and its relationship with teacher instruction and student achievement: A systematic research synthesis.
  • Copur-Gencturk, Y., Thacker, I. & Cimpian, J. R. (manuscript in preparation). Teachers' implicit gender bias and the moderating effects of modern sexism and math anxiety.
  • Rodriguez, J., & Thacker, I. (manuscript in preparation). Using refutation texts to shift misconceptions about fraction multiplication.