Faculty Profiles

Dr. Ruthmae Sears

associate Professor, mathematics education

Sears headshot

Email: ruthmaesears@usf.edu
Phone: (813) 974-2172
Office Location: USF Tampa campus, EDU 302-J
Curriculum Vitae available upon request


Ruthmae Sears, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the University of South Florida. Her research focuses on curriculum issues, the development of reasoning and proof skills, clinical experiences in secondary mathematics, and the integration of technology in the teaching and learning of mathematics.

Dr. Sears has presented nationally and internationally, and has published in leading mathematics education journals, such as: Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, ZDM: The International Journal on Mathematics Education, MathAMATYC Educator, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Perspective of Mathematics Education (APME).  She also coordinates developmental mathematics courses, and USF's undergraduate and master’s degree programs in mathematics education.
 
Dr. Sears is actively engage in scholarly activities. She is the principal investigator for the NSF-IUSE funded collaborative grant entitled "Attaining Excellence in Secondary Mathematics Clinical Experiences with a Lens on Equity" (#1726362). Dr. Sears is also a co-principal investigator for the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program and a key personnel for the NSF funded grant "Systemic Transformation of Education through Evidence-Based Reforms" (#1525574).
 
In addition to her research activities, Dr. Sears is the co-chair of the Network of STEM Education Centers (NSEC) Annual Meeting, and the APLU- Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership sub-research action cluster (RAC) leader for clinical experiences that utilizes co-teaching and co-planning strategies. She is also the co-chair for the Accelerating Systemic Change Network (ASCN) in STEM Higher Education Working group for Equity and Inclusion, and the University of South Florida Representative for the Bay View Alliance-Diversity Equity and Inclusion Working Group. Additionally, she is the associate editor for the NCTM journal, Mathematics Teacher: Learning and Teaching PreK-12 (MTLT), for the high school grade band.

Dr. Sears is the Florida Department of Education's State Course Numbering System (SCNS) Discipline Coordinator in the field of Mathematics Education. She currently serves as the chair of the USF College of Education's Faculty Policy Council Ad-hoc Committee for the Faculty Constitution. Dr. Sears is also a board member for The Bahamas’ PACE Foundation. In her spare time, she volunteers with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay.


Awards and Fellowship

Dr. Sears was the 2016 Florida Association of Mathematics Teacher Educator (FAMTE) Mathematics Teacher Educator of the Year. She was also the 2018 USF Chapter of National Council of Negro Women's Katherine Johnson Mathematics Award Recipient. Dr. Sears previously received the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid Missouri Heroes award, and the VEX robotics volunteer of the year award.

Dr. Sears was a recipient of the Organization of American States Fellowship Award, Lyford Cay Foundation Graduate Scholarship Award, Kappa Delta Pi Hollis Caswell Doctoral Award, Center for The Study of Mathematics Curriculum (CSMC) fellowship award, and the University of Missouri Mathematics Education Scholarship Award.  Additionally, Dr. Sears was selected as an NSF funded IAspire Leadership Academy Fellow in 2020.


Courses Taught

  • Intermediate Algebra
  • Teaching Mathematics for Middle Grades
  • Practicum in Mathematics Education
  • Teaching High School Mathematics
  • Teaching Pre-secondary Mathematics
  • Senior High Mathematics Methods
  • Geometry and Measurement for Middle Grades Teachers
  • Topics in Teaching Geometry
  • Curriculum History and Research in Mathematics Education
  • Dissertation 

Selected Publications

Grady, M., Sears, R., Stone, J., & Biagetti, S. (2020). Using co-planning and co-teaching strategies
to transform secondary mathematics clinical experiences. In The Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE) Professional edited book series, W.G. Martin, B.R. Lawler, A.E. Lischka, &W.M . Smith (Eds). "Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership The Power of a Networked Improvement Community to Transform Secondary Mathematics Teacher Preparation”. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publications.

Males, L., Sears, R., Lawler, B. (2020). Equity and justice in the preparation of secondary mathematics teachers. In The Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE) Professional edited book series,  W. G. Martin, B. R. Lawler, A. E. Lischka, &W.M . Smith (Eds). "Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership The Power of a Networked Improvement Community to Transform Secondary Mathematics Teacher Preparation”. Charlotte, NC:  Information Age Publications.

Strutchens, M. E., Sears, R. & Zelkowski (2020). Improving Clinical Experiences for Secondary Mathematics Teacher Candidates. In The Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE) Professional edited book series,  W.G. Martin, B.R. Lawler, A.E. Lischka, & W.M. Smith (Eds). "Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership The Power of a Networked Improvement Community to Transform Secondary Mathematics Teacher Preparation”. Charlotte, NC:  Information Age Publications.

Sears, R. (2018) Proof schemes of preservice mathematics teachers. Investigations in Mathematics Learning. p. 1-17.  DOI: 10.1080/19477503.2018.1467106

Sears, R., Kersaint, G., Burgos, F., & Wooten, R.  (2018). Collaborative effort to develop middle school preservice teachers’ mathematical knowledge. PRIMUS. DOI: 10.1080/10511970.2018.1532936

Sears, R., Hopf, F., Torres-Ayala, A., Williams, C.S., Skrzypek, L. (2018). Using plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycles and interdisciplinary conversations to transform college algebra. (PRIMUS). DOI: 10.1080/10511970.2018.1532938

Sears, R. (2016). An inherent tension: Students engaging with proof. MathAMATYC Educator, 8(1), 36-42.

Sears, R., Karadeniz, I., Butler, K., & Pettey, D. (2015). Are standards for mathematical practice overlooked in geometry textbooks’ chapter tests? Annual perspectives in mathematics education (APME) 2015: Assessment to enhance learning and teaching (pp. 75-97). NCTM: Reston, VA.

Sears, R., & Chávez, Ó. (2014). Opportunities to engage with proof: The nature of proof tasks in two geometry textbooks and its influence on enacted lessons. ZDM, 46(5), 767-780.