Blake E. Peterson

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Ph.D. Mathematics 1993 Washington State University
M.S. Mathematics 1990 Washington State University
B.A. Secondary Education 1986 Utah State University


Professor 2007-Present Brigham Young University
Associate Professor 2000-2007 Brigham Young University
Assistant Professor 1996-2000 Brigham Young University
Assistant Professor 1993-1996 Oregon State University
Teaching Assistant 1988-1993 Washington State University
Mathematics Teacher 1986-1988 Chino High School

Brief Biography

Dr. Peterson was born and raised in Logan, Utah where he attended Utah State University. He is a proud Aggie. His first teaching job was at Chino High School in Chino California. He taught and coached basketball and football for the Chino Cowboys for 2 years before going to graduate school at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. After 5 years of graduate school in Pullman, he was a professor at Oregon State University for 3 years. He has been at BYU since 1996. He is married to Shauna, has 4 children and 5 grandchildren. He likes to play basketball, mountain bike, water ski and garden.

Research Interests

Dr. Peterson’s research centers on how preservice teachers think about and learn to teach mathematics. He has compared attributes of mathematics teacher education in Japan and the United States by using of Japanese Lesson Study with preservice teachers in the methods courses he teachers. He has also studied student teaching in the United States and in Japan and incorporated some structural elements of Japanese student teaching into the student teaching done at Brigham Young University. Subsequent to his research in Japan is his current effort to understand how to teach preservice mathematics teachers to recognize and effectively build on student mathematical thinking during instruction. Much of this recent work on the productive use of student mathematical thinking has been done as part of the Building on MOSTs (Mathematical Opportunities in Student Thinking) project.

Selected Publications

Van Zoest, L. R., Peterson, B. E., Rougée, A. O. T., Stockero, S. L., Leatham, K. R., & Freeburn, B. (2021). Conceptualizing important facets of teacher responses to student mathematical thinking. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology.

Stockero, S. L., Leatham, K. R., Ochieng, M. A., Van Zoest, L. R., &  Peterson, B. E. (2020). Teachers’ orientations toward using student mathematical thinking as a resource during whole-class discussion. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 23(3), 237-267.

Peterson, B. E., Leatham, K. R., Merrill, L. M., Van Zoest, L. R., and Stockero, S. L. (2020). Clarifiable Ambiguity in Classroom Mathematics Discourse. Investigations in Mathematics Learning, (pp. 1-10).

Peterson, B. E., Teuscher, D., Ricks, T. E., (2019). Improving Prospective Teachers’ Lesson Planning Knowledge and Skills through Lesson Study. In Huang, R., Takahashi, A., da Ponte, J. P. (Eds.), Theory and Practice of Lesson Study in Mathematics: An International Perspective (pp. 549-575). Springer, Cham.

Peterson, B. E., & Leatham, K. R. (2018). The Structure of Student Teaching Can Change the Focus to Students’ Mathematical Thinking. In Educating Prospective Secondary Mathematics Teachers (pp. 9-26). Springer, Cham.

Peterson, B. E., & Viramontes, R. (2017). Key Questions to Guide Teachers in Supporting Productive Struggle in Learning Mathematics. In D. A. Spangler & J. J. Wanko (Eds), Enhancing Classroom Practice: with Research behind Principle to Actions. Reston, Va: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Leatham, K. R., Peterson, B. E., Stockero, S. L., & Van Zoest, L. R. (2015). Conceptualizing Mathematically Significant Pedagogical Opportunities to Build on Student Thinking. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education 46(1), 88-124

Corey, Doug, Peterson, Blake E., Lewis, Ben M., & Bukarau, Jared (2010) Are there any places that students use their head? Principles of high-quality Japanese mathematics instruction. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education 41(5), 434-478

Leatham, K. R., and Peterson, B. E. (2010). Purposefully designing student teaching to focus on students’ mathematical thinking. In J. Luebeck & J. W. Lott (Eds.), Mathematics teaching: Putting research into practice at all levels (pp. 225-239). San Diego, CA: Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators.

Musser, Gary L., Peterson, Blake E., and Burger, William F. (2014). Mathematics for Elementary Teachers: A Contemporary Approach 10th Edition, New York: John Wiley & Sons Inc.


Benjamin Cluff Jr. Excellence in Educator Preparation award, David O McKay School of Education, Brigham Young University, March 2019

Excellence in Teaching in Mathematics Teacher Education, Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators, February, 2015

Richard Roskelley Teaching and Learning Faculty Fellowship, Brigham Young University, August 2014