In Memoriam: Ann Elizabeth Fennema, 1928-2021

Elizabeth Fennema, a long-time faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, died at a hospice facility in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. She was 93 years old.

Dr. Fennema was a native of El Dorado, Kansas. She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Kansas State University and a master’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After teaching in an elementary school and spending several years as a mother and homemaker, she received her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in mathematics education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Fennema served as a professor of education at the University of Wisconsin. Her scholarly interests focused on two main themes: gender issues related to mathematics, and teachers’ cognitions as they influence instruction and learning. She also served as a senior scientist at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, and in the women’s studies program until her retirement in 1996, when she was appointed professor emerita. After her retirement from teaching, she served as director of the Wisconsin-Spencer Doctoral Research Program.

Dr. Fennama was elected to the National Academy of Education in 1997. In 2021, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award for distinguished service to mathematics education from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

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