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My research focuses on areas related to understanding the authenticity of learning, specifically how we come to know and think about the relationships among number, algebra, and spatial quantity. What does it mean to really know mathematics and to have quantitative knowledge and understandings? What does it mean to be able to make sense of problems about number, algebra and spatial relationships? How do our own interest, family, and societal cultural experiences affect mathematics learning? Authenticity has many interactive and reflexive elements within educative phenomena and as such is connected to complexity theory. Additionally, I want to understand how authenticity plays a role in teacher’s professional learning, including practicing professionals (in-service teachers) and preservice teachers at the university level. How does engagement in authentic teaching contexts, whether formal or informal, affect the professional growth of a teacher? A large part of the focus here is on professional learning done in communities, specifically when teachers engage in the processes of Lesson Study.
In order to begin to grasp at authenticity in the context of mathematics learning and teaching I have chosen several more focused research selections including mathematical proficiency, teacher efficacy, problem solving professional development, culture, and the experience of authentic learning for birth to 12th grade students, preservice teachers, graduate students, and teachers. Improvement of mathematics teaching and student learning is at the core of my research. Through continued research I seek to provide and published meaningful results that pragmatically address ways in which teachers can strive to improve student learning and mathematical well-being. I have also found that teachers’ understanding about the interconnectedness of mathematics is profoundly transformative. My research continues to look for ways to help teachers see mathematics, not as discrete disconnected procedures, but as meaningfully interconnected relations among quantitative ideas. Lastly, I am interested in the way culture (societal, department, and classroom) can shape the learning and teaching of mathematics. These elements, student mathematical proficiency, professional development of teachers, and culture are three nodes upon which I am furthering the study of authenticity of mathematics learning as a career research goal.
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