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Patrick Kirkland, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of the Practice, ACE Teaching Fellows

Patrick Kirkland

121 Remick Family Hall

Dr. Patrick Kirkland is an Assistant Professor of the Practice in the Institute for Educational Initiatives and a faculty member of ACE Teaching Fellows.

Kirkland teaches elementary math methods and assessment courses for ACE Teaching Fellows and will teach education research methods courses in the Education, Schooling, and Society program. He also supervises a community of ACE Teaching Fellows. His research interests are in the area of children’s development of mathematical cognition in the context of K-12 classrooms. Specifically, he researches how students make sense of the relationship between whole numbers, fractions, and decimals and operations in math.

His current research is funded by the National Science Foundation and examines how to best measure upper elementary and middle school students’ number sense. This research is in collaboration with the CLAD Lab and TutorND here on campus.

Kirkland is a former Burns Fellow in the Notre Dame Program for Interdisciplinary Research (ND PIER) and a graduate of ACE Teaching Fellows. He taught middle school math and social studies in Savannah, GA before working as the Associate Director of Academics for ACE Teaching Fellows.

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  • 2022 Ph.D., Psychology, Research and Experimental, University of Notre Dame
  • 2020 M.A., Psychology, University of Notre Dame
  • 2012 M.Ed., University of Notre Dame
  • 2010 B.B.A., Finance and Political Science, University of Notre Dame


  • Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher Award, The Graduate School and ND Learning | Kaneb Center for Teaching Excellence, University of Notre Dame


  • Kirkland, P.K., Guang, C., Cheng, Y., Trinter, C., Kumar, S., Nakfoor, S., Sullivan, T., McNeil, N.M. (2022, in press). Middle School Students’ Mature Number Sense is Uniquely Associated with Grade-Level Mathematics Achievement. Proceedings of the Forty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education. Nashville, TN
  • Şimşek, E., Xenidou-Dervou, I., Hunter, J., Gillon Dowens, M., Pang, J., Lee, Y., McNeil, N.M., Kirkland, P.K., Jones, I. (2022) Factors Associated with Students’ Understanding of Mathematical Equivalence: A Cross-cultural Investigation across Six Countries. Journal of Educational Psychology.
  • Kirkland, P. K., & McNeil, N. M. (2021). Question Design Affects Students’ Sense-Making on Mathematics Word Problems. Cognitive Science, 45(4), e12960.
  • O’Rear, C. D., McNeil, N. M., & Kirkland, P. K. (2020). Partial Knowledge in the Development of Number Word Understanding. Developmental Science 23(5): e12944.
  • O’Rear, C.D., McNeil, N.M., & Kirkland, P. (2018) Evidence of Partial Number Knowledge on the Give-N Task. In C. Kalish, M. Rau, J. Zhu, & T.T. Rogers (Eds.), Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Madison, WI: Cognitive Science Society.