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Caroline Hornburg

Caroline Hornburg, Assistant Professor

Caroline Hornburg, Assistant Professor
Caroline Hornburg, Assistant Professor

Department of Human Development and Family Science
401-A Wallace Hall
295 West Campus Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-2664 |

Caroline Hornburg is an assistant professor of Human Development and Family Science at Virginia Tech, and director of the Learning and Development Lab. Dr. Hornburg also is affiliate faculty in the Department of Psychology and the School of Education.

Dr. Hornburg's work focuses on children’s understanding of core mathematical skills within early childhood and middle childhood that provide the foundation for later learning. Specifically, her main lines of research are (1) What is the impact of prior knowledge on later learning? and (2) How can the learning environment be optimized to improve children’s understanding of key concepts? Her current research projects focus on children's math identity, problem-solving skills, EF skills, math vocabulary, and the home math environment.

Accepting new grad students: Yes
In need of students for research team: Yes
Name of research team: Learning and Development Lab

  • Cognitive Development
  • Learning Sciences
  • Mathematical Cognition
  • Educational Psychology
  • Child Development

In the future, Dr. Hornburg plans to pursue additional grant funding that allows for examination of parents' support of their children's math learning and children's mathematical and EF skills longitudinally, including during the transition from preschool to Kindergarten.

  • Ph.D. in Psychology, University of Notre Dame, 2017
  • M.A. in Psychology, University of Notre Dame, 2014
  • B.S. in Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2011
  • Member, Association for Women in Science
  • Member, Cognitive Development Society
  • Member, International Mind, Brain, and Education Society
  • Member, Providing Opportunities for Women in Education Research (POWER)
  • Member, Psi Chi International Honor Society
  • Member, Psychonomic Society
  • Member, Society for Research in Child Development
  • Member, Women in Cognitive Science
  • AERA-SRCD Early Career Fellowship in Middle Childhood Education and Development, 2019
  • Society for Research in Child Development Dissertation Award, 2016
  • Finalist, University of Notre Dame Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition, 2016
  • Psi Chi Graduate Student Research Grant, 2014 
  • University of Notre Dame Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts Research Award, 2013
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2013

Devlin, B. L., Hornburg, C. B., & McNeil, N. M. (2023). Kindergarten predictors of formal understanding of mathematical equivalence in second grade. Developmental Psychology. Advance online publication.

Lee, J.-E., Hornburg, C. B., Chan, J. Y.-C., & Ottmar, E. (2022). Perceptual and number effects on students’ initial solution strategies in an interactive online mathematics game. Journal of Numerical Cognition, 8(1), 166-182.

Hornburg, C. B., Devlin, B. L., & McNeil, N. M. (2022). Earlier understanding of mathematical equivalence in elementary school predicts greater algebra readiness in middle school. Journal of Educational Psychology, 114(3), 540-559.

McNeil, N. M., Hornburg, C. B., Brletic-Shipley, H., & Matthews, J. M. (2019). Improving children’s understanding of mathematical equivalence via an intervention that goes beyond nontraditional arithmetic practice. Journal of Educational Psychology, 111(6), 1023-1044.

Hornburg, C. B., Schmitt, S. A., & Purpura, D. J. (2018). Relations between preschoolers’ mathematical language understanding and specific numeracy skills. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 176, 84-100.

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