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Grasping the Rationality of Instructional Practice (GRIP)

GRIP is a research group within the University of Michigan School of Education. Founded in 2001 by Pat Herbst, and initially dedicated to the study of geometry, reasoning, and instructional practices, the GRIP lab has been the training grounds for several doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows in mathematics education.


The research at the GRIP lab over the last 19 years has maintained a focus on understanding the complexities of mathematics teaching, including the decisions teachers make that affect how mathematics is transacted in teaching and the rationality that justifies such decisions. From its initial focus on high school geometry instruction, the GRIP has also developed instruments and used them in the study of high school algebra and undergraduate mathematics instruction including geometry courses for teachers. In service of that work, the lab has developed and used numerous multimedia tools, including online storyboarding and annotation tools, useful for conducting innovative research which relies on engaging participants with representations of instructional practice. These tools have proven useful not only for conducting research but also to support a wide variety of online teaching—including its widespread use for the support of online practice-based teacher learning. In tune with this expanded focus of research, the GRIP acronym now spells out as “Grasping the Rationality of Instructional Practice.”

Please visit the GRIP website for more information on our work, publications, software, news, and events.

Project Participants

Assistant Research Scientist, Marsal Family School of Education
Professor, Marsal Family School of Education; Professor of Mathematics, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Research Technician Intermediate