2008 MET Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
Frank Lester is internationally known for his research on mathematical problem-solving instruction and his work in mathematics learning, teaching, and curriculum. Lester’s career as a researcher and teacher educator began in 1972 at Indiana University, where he joined the mathematics education faculty in the School of Education. He has also been a visiting professor in Brazil, Canada, England, and Sweden, and he was a Fulbright Fellow at the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil.
In 2007, Lester edited the Second Handbook of Research on Mathematics Teaching and Learning, which is an update of the groundbreaking original handbook published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).
Lester’s work demonstrates his commitment to transforming research results into practice. As one nominator noted, “Frank has demonstrated that a teacher educator and curriculum developer can also do carefully conceptualized, competently conducted research. Indeed, he remains one of an unfortunately too small group of mathematics educators who can claim to be both an eminent practitioner and first-rate researcher.”
Lester is an active leader in NCTM and other professional organizations. He has served as editor of the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education and as a member of NCTM’s Board of Directors, Research Advisory Committee, and Standards Impact Research Group. Lester also organized and participated in the Research Catalyst Conference sponsored by NCTM and the National Science Foundation (NSF). He has served on a steering committee of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) special interest group for research in mathematics education and is a recent advisory board member for several funded projects of NSF.
Currently Lester is professor of mathematics education and cognitive science at Indiana University, where he was named to the Indiana University Alliance of Distinguished and Titled Professors and was also awarded an endowed chair in teacher education and an Indiana University Chancellor’s Professorship.