Kristen Reed

Email Kristen Reed

Kristen Reed
Research Scientist

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313



Kristen Reed leads studies that provide new insights into early childhood education and early mathematics learning and teaching, with a focus on the link between teacher professional development and student outcomes. Her work reflects her commitment to designing resources and professional development that make mathematics fun, challenging, and engaging for children and teachers. She is an experienced teacher, professional development facilitator, and researcher.

Reed is the co-Principal Investigator (PI), with Jessica Young, of a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded study, Games for Young Mathematicians, which examines the relation between a teacher professional development intervention and low-income preschool children’s school readiness skills and mathematics learning. The intervention gives preschool teachers effective strategies, using mathematics games and activities, to support children’s growth mindset and persistence. (Read a related blog post by Reed.)

She is also co-PI, with Young and Heidi Rosenberg, of two Heising-Simons Foundation-funded projects, Family Engagement in Early Mathematics and the Teacher Practices Observation Study. These projects examine how a professional development model can support teachers in engaging families in early mathematics activities through at-home games and mathematics mini-books that align with the mathematics games teachers are using in the classroom. Reed and colleagues are investigating the potential of this model for enhancing teachers’ mathematics instruction and improving children’s mathematics learning and school-readiness skills.

Reed contributed to the development of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers (PARCC) K–2 formative assessment tasks. These tasks are engaging for children, informative for teachers—tasks include detailed observation checklists that help teachers gain insight into student understanding—and serve as examples of how to engage children with the Common Core State Standards, with a particular focus on the Standards for Mathematical Practice.

Reed is also leading mixed data analysis and contributing to the design and implementation of the Mathematics Instructional Materials project. Funded by NSF, this longitudinal study is examining school districts’ implementation of elementary mathematics instructional materials (Everyday Mathematics or Investigations in Number, Data, and Space). Reed is studying the relation between district and school support for implementation, the school’s level of use of the materials, and the effects on student outcomes.  

Reed has coauthored publications on mathematics education and on teacher professional development, including “Play Games, Learn Math! Explore Numbers and Counting with Dot Card and Finger Games,”Mastery Motivation: Persistence and Problem Solving in Preschool,” “Designing K–12 Formative Assessment Tasks,” and “Mathematical Structure and Error in Kindergarten.” In addition, Reed and her colleagues have created resources for teachers and parents that are available on the Young Mathematicians website.

Before joining EDC, Reed taught 4th and 5th grade at a pilot school in Boston during the years when the Boston Public Schools were scaling up the implementation of Investigations in Number, Data, and Space. She has a BA in anthropology and a master’s degree in international comparative education from Stanford University, and an MEd in elementary education from Lesley University.