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College of Education > Faculty and Staff Directory > Dr. Xiangquan (James) Yao

Dr. Xiangquan (James) Yao

Dr. Xiangquan (James) Yao
Phone: 814-865-9062
Office Address:
266 Chambers Building
University Park, PA 16802
Campus: University Park


Assistant Professor of Education (Mathematics Education)


Curriculum and Instruction


Curriculum and Instruction: Mathematics Education


Dr. Xiangquan Yao joined the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Penn State in 2018 as an assistant professor. He completed his PhD work in mathematics education at Ohio State University.  Dr. Yao's research interest considers the nature of mathematics thinking with technology and mathematics understandings for teaching with technology. His current work focuses on learners’ engagement in mathematical generalizing when using technological tools that are capable of performing mathematical procedures (e.g., graphing, symbolic algebraic manipulation, arithmetic calculations, constructing and manipulating geometric figures, and statistics calculations and data display). He also investigates preservice mathematics teachers’ technological, mathematical, and pedagogical knowledge for engaging learners in making generalizations with technology.

Areas of Expertise

Age Levels


Curriculum Areas

Math Ed

Education Types

Public Ed

Individual Difference

Learning Processes


Learning Sciences

Methodological Research

Discourse Analysis
Qualitative Research

Teacher Preparation

Pre-service Teachers


Computer Technology

Courses Taught

Graduate Courses:

  • MTHED 501- Foundations of Mathematics Education I: Theory and Research on Mathematical Thinking and Learning
  • MTHED 520 -Analysis of Research in Mathematics Education

Undergraduate Courses:

  • MTHED 427- Teaching Mathematics in Technology-Intensive Environments
  • MTHED 428-Fundamentals of Middle Grades Mathematics 1
  • MTHED/SCIED 460: Trends and Issues in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education

Education History

PhD.,The Ohio State University

Representative Publications

Yao, X. (in press). Preservice secondary mathematics teachers’ instrumental genesis and their development of geometric knowledge in dynamic geometry environment. International Journal for Technology in Mathematics Education.

Yao, X. (2020). Unpacking learner’s growth in geometric understanding when solving problems in a dynamic geometry environment: coordinating two frames. The Journal of Mathematical Behavior. 60, 1-14.

Yao, X., & Manouchehri, A. (2020). Folding back in students’ construction of mathematical generalizations. Mathematics Education Research Journal.

Yao, X. (2020). Characterizing learners’ growth of geometric understanding in dynamic geometry environments. Digital Experiences in Mathematics Education

Yao, X., & Manouchehri, A. (2020). Teacher interventions for advancing students’ mathematical understanding. Education Sciences. 10(6), 1-21.

Manouchehri, A., Bekdemir, M, & Yao, X. (2020). Facilitating modelling activities in a grade 5 classroom. In H. Wessels, G. Stillman, G. Kaiser, & E. Lampen (Eds.), Mathematical Modelling Education and Sense Making (pp. 187-197). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

Yao, X., & Manouchehri, A. (2019). Middle school students’ generalizations about properties of geometric transformations in a dynamic geometry environment. The Journal of Mathematical Behavior. 55, 1-19.

Manouchehri, A., Yao, X., & Saglam, Y. (2018). Nurturing Knowledge of Mathematical Modeling for Teaching. In M. E. Strutchens, R. Huang, L. Losano, & D., Potari (Eds.), Educating Prospective Secondary Mathematics Teachers (pp. 205-223). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.