Xiaobao Li

Xiaobao Li, PhD

  • Associate Professor

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Affiliated Programs


  • PhD, Curriculum & Instruction (2006)
    Texas A&M University—College Station (TX)

About Me

I am an associate professor in mathematics education here at Widener University. I earned my PhD in mathematics education in 2006 from Texas A&M University. Coming from the University of Houston where I was an assistant professor in math education for four years, I came to Widener in 2012.

I have authored or co-authored 15 publications in top-tier journals in education such as Cognition and Instruction, Educational Studies in Mathematics, The Journal of Educational Research, and The Journal of Mathematical Behavior. I have made numerous major presentations at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) annual meetings. My research has been awarded the Distinguished Paper Award from the AERA. I also won the Outstanding Reviewer Award from the Review of Educational Research.

Research Interests

My research focuses on translating teachers' knowledge into classroom practice.


Ding, M., Hassler, R., & Li, X. (2020). Cognitive instructional principles in elementary mathematics classrooms: a case of teaching inverse relations. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology. doi: 10.1080/0020739X.2020.1749319

Ding, M., Li, X., Hassler, R., & Barnett, E. (2019)  On understanding of the basic properties of operations: A cross-cultural analysis. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology.

Li, X., Staulters, M., Gozza-Cohen, M., & Schaming, S. (2015). Middle school students' conceptual based errors in variables. Betwixt and Between: Education for Young Adolescents, 1(2), 15-28.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Consultant for NSF funded grant CAREER: Algebraic knowledge for teaching: A Cross-cultural Perspective”

Kappa Delta Pi Professional Education (KDP)


  • AERA Distinguished Paper Award at American Educational Research Association
  • Outstanding Reviewer of Review of Educational Research