Wayne State University

Sally K. Roberts

Sally K. Roberts
Assistant Professor
297 Education

Office Hours: Best way to contact me is via email.

(313) 577-0917
(313) 577-4091

  • Ed.D.,  Curriculum & Instruction, Curriculum & Instruction, Wayne State University, 1995 
  • M.A., Elementary Education,  Wayne State University, 1972 
  • B.A., Elementary Education,  Alma College,  1969
  • Michigan Elementary Permanent Teaching Certificate


Dr. Sally Roberts was a mathematics specialist and elementary school teacher in the Detroit Public Schools for 23 years prior to coming to Wayne State University. Dr. Roberts has a special interest in elementary and middle school mathematics education. Her research interests include mathematical problem solving; the teaching and learning of geometry; and the development of the matheamatical understandings of teachers. Dr. Roberts has made conference presentations on these topics a the national, state and local level and has published articles on these topics in Teaching Children Mathematics and Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School.

Dr. Roberts is the Director of the GO-GIRL (Gaining Options: Girls Investigate Real Life) program at Wayne State University. The program serves adolescent girls from the community and provides an alternative pre-student field experience for students in the College of Education.


Director for the GO-GIRL (Gaining Options: Girls Investigate Real Life) program. For more information about the program visit the GO-GIRL web site at: 


Academic Interests

  1. The development of the pedogogical content knowledge of elementary and middle school teachers
  2. Mathematics teaching and learning in early childhood
  3. Mathematical representations and models

Area of Expertise

  1. Early childhood mathematics
  2. Mathematical reasoning in elementary and middle school

Research Interests

  1. Mathematical problem solving
  2. Teaching and learning of geometry
  3. Development of the mathematical understandings of teachers
  4. Women and girls participation and access to STEM related education and careers

Community Engagement Activities

GO-GIRL (Gaining Options: Girls Investigate Real Life).


Gaining Options: Girls Investigate Real Life through Health Related STEM Disciplines
2011 - 2016    1,716,564.00  from National Institutes of Health
This science research education project aims to increase high school girls’ interest in and capacity for STEM disciplines through a coordinated set of activities including a summer academy, parent support, and a year round mentoring program.
STRONG (Self-Theories Research Enables New Growth)
2010 - 2012
GO-GIRL Opertion KiT (Keeping in Touch)
2009 - 2011
GO-GIRL Opertion KiT (Keeping in Touch)
2008 - 2009
Supporting culturally responsive practice through alternative field experiences for teacher candidates
2006 - 2007
Gaining Options-Girls Investigate Real Life
2006 - 2007
GO-GIRL Demonstration Program Grant
2006 - 2007
Gaining Options: Girls Investigate Real Life
2006 - 2007
GO-GIRL Urban Partnerships
2005 - 2007
This award lead to the dissemination of the GO-GIRL Program at 5 sister institutions: University of Pennsylvania; Howard, Washington DC; Illinois Wesleyan, Bloomington, IL; Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL; and St. Joseph's College, CT.
Girls Exploring Mathematics Through Social Science
2004 - 2005

Awards & Honors

University Faculty Service Award
College of Education Outstanding Educator Award
Third Annual Kathleen Reilly Koory Endowed Faculty Development Award
Detroit Area Council of Mathematics, Outstanding Mathematics Educator of the Year
College of Education Excellence in Teaching Award
Wayne State University Presidential Award
Wayne State University Presidential Award
Wayne State University Presidential Award


Urban Partnerships: Serving black communities through relevant university-based mentor learning experiences
Roberts, S. K. 2009   American Educational Research Association
Understanding the political and practical Impacts of service learning: Analyzing culturally responsive girl-empowerment programs
Willimas, N., Roberts, S. K., Brown, R. N. 2007   American Educational Research Association
Culturally competent teachers: Following up alternative preservice field experiences within a culturally rich girls' Saturday academy
Willimas, N., Roberts, S. K. 2006   American Educational Research Association
Powerful girls and strong teaching: Girl empowerment programs which serve as community field experiences
Willimas, N., Roberts, S. K. 2005   American Educational Research Association
Girls explore mathematics through social science
Reid, P., Roberts, S. & Stubbs, J. 2004   National Science Foundation Division of Human Resource Development
Implications of a laptop initiative in a teacher education program
Waker, M., Roberts, S., Babcock, E., & Colombo, M. 2004   Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education
Promoting equity and access through a community service learning field experiences
Roberts, S. K., Willimas, K. & Snyder, J. 2004   American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
Metacognitive journals: Thinking about thinking
Roberts, S. K. & Tayeh, C. 2003   National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
Mathematics, literature, and problem solving: Making connections in the primary grades
Roberts, S. K., Williamson, A., & Nowosad, S. 2001   Association for Childhood Education International


Coming Full Circle
Roberts, S. K., Borum, V.   2012 Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School 18(2) 111-117
All these rays! What's the point?
Roberts, S. K, Tayeh, Carla   2011 Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School 16(7) 408-413
The conceptual chicken and the procedural egg
Roberts, S. K.   2010 Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School 16(4) 196-198
The important thing about teaching problem solving
Roberts, S. K.   2010 Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School 16(2) 104-108
Assessing understanding through mathematical reasoning books
Roberts, S. K. & Tayeh, C.   2010 Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School 15(7) 406-413
Watch what you say
Roberts, S.   2008 Teaching Children Mathematics 14(5) 296-301
On my mind: Not all manipulatives and models are created equally
Roberts, S.   2007 Teaching Mathematics in the Middle Grades 13(1) 6-9
It's the thought that counts: Reflecting on problem solving
Roberts, S. & Tayeh, C.   2006 Teaching Mathematics in the Middle Grades 12(5) 232-237
Gaining options: A mathematics program for potentially talented at-risk adolescent girls
Reid, P. T. & Roberts, S. K.   2006 Merrill-Palmer Quarterly 52(2) 288-304
Increasing Student Access to Qualified Science and Mathematics Through an Urban School-University Partnership
Cavallo. A., Ferraria, M. & Roberts, S.   2005 School Science and Mathematics 105 (7) 363-373
Snack math
Roberts, S. K.   2003 Teaching Children Mathematics 9(5) 258-261