Gibb, Elizabeth Glenadine (1919–1984)

By: Nancy Gerhard

Type: Biography

Published: January 1, 1995

E. Glenadine Gibb, teacher and author in mathematics education, was born in Biggsville, Illinois, on June 8, 1919. She earned a bachelor of education degree at Western Illinois State University (1941), a master of arts at George Peabody College for Teachers (1944), and a doctor of philosophy at the University of Wisconsin (1953). She began her teaching career in 1941 as a high school mathematics and science teacher in Mendon, Illinois. After teaching there for four years she taught mathematics at a secondary school in Geneseo, Illinois, 1945–46, after which she was appointed assistant professor of mathematics at Iowa State Teachers College (now the University of Northern Iowa). After receiving her Ph.D., she advanced to the rank of professor. In 1965 Gibb joined the faculty of the University of Texas in Austin where she remained until her death. There she was a professor of mathematics education with a joint appointment in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and the Department of Mathematics. Her task when she joined UT was to build an interdisciplinary graduate program in mathematics education. She was a visiting lecturer at the universities of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Vermont, and at Marshall University, and she was visiting professor of mathematics education at the University of Georgia in 1979. During her years as a university teacher, Dr. Gibb was a supporter of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics; she often was speaker at five or six regional meetings as well as the national meeting each year. In 1960 she was appointed the initial editor of NCTM's new journal, Arithmetic Teacher, a position she held for six years, during which the journal was established as the premier journal for elementary mathematics teachers in the United States. Gibb served as vice president of NCTM in 1958 and president in 1974, and in 1977 she was elected president of the Alliance of American Associations for the Advancement of Education.

Between 1955 and 1970 she was prominent in national efforts to improve mathematics education funded by the National Science Foundation and the United States Office of Education. She chaired the Planning Committee for the School Mathematics Study Group curriculum and coauthored the K-3 textbooks. She worked on projects for the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, the University of Maryland Mathematics Project, and the Research and Development Center for Teacher Education at the University of Texas at Austin. Furthermore, she directed six federally funded projects for improving elementary mathematics education and two prospective teacher fellowship programs. Gibb was a speaker at major international conferences in Canada, France, Japan, England, Venezuela, and Germany. She authored or coauthored more than 100 publications, in Arithmetic Teacher, Mathematics Teacher, Journal of Educational Research, Today's Education, Mental Measurements Yearbook, School Science and Mathematics Journal, and Grade Teacher. She also wrote for Scott Foresman's elementary mathematics textbook series for grades K-8 and coauthored an early research study, "General Mental Functions Associated with Division," which gave insight into the complex structure of mathematics achievement by empirically separating computational skill from understanding.

Honors were bestowed upon Dr. Gibb from her undergraduate years and throughout her professional career. She held a Lindsay scholarship at Western Illinois State University and was a university fellow at the University of Wisconsin. She was a member of numerous honorary societies, was chosen honored alumna of Western Illinois State University in 1971, and received the WISU Alumni Achievement Award in 1973. She was the first faculty member of the University of Texas Department of Curriculum and Instruction to be appointed to an endowed professorship, the Catherine Mae Parker Centennial Professorship in Education. The Board of Regents of the University of Texas established the E. Glenadine Gibb Fellowship in Education after her death in 1984.

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American Men and Women of Science, 16th ed. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Nancy Gerhard, “Gibb, Elizabeth Glenadine,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 19, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995

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