I enjoy teaching at Governors
State University because our students are extremely devoted to their education.
Many of our students work full time and depend on our instructors to help them
realize their full potential. This is an awesome responsibility that I hope to
fulfill through my devotion to education. I strive to meet students’ needs for
learning challenging material by modifying my instruction to maximize their
interactions with myself and their peers. I believe that people learn best when
they can talk to each other about meaningful and intellectually rich topics. In
my classes, I try to engage all students in the course material in ways that
will allow them to express their questions in a supportive and non-threatening
research interests are centered on how people learn mathematics. I believe that
communication is the key to learning in all fields, especially mathematics. It
is impossible to learn or teach mathematics without serious attention to
language and communication. The common myth that mathematics is independent of
language has been one of my favorite issues to address. I challenge anyone to
teach or learn complex mathematical topics without effective use of language
for reading, writing and speaking. Some argue that mathematics has its own
language but if this is true, then we must address the fact that there is an
element of second language learning as well as the goal of attaining conceptual
understanding. Translating mathematical concepts into spoken and written
language entails more than manipulation of numbers and symbols. If learners are
non-native English speakers, there is an additional challenge they face when
attempting to master mathematical concepts. My research and teaching methods
represent an attempt to bridge this difficulty for all learners, whether they
are native English speakers or not.
most rewarding aspect of my academic research is the involvement of my
students. I have introduced a supplemental instruction model that entails the
creation of a new position for a student instructor who works hand-in-hand with
me to provide assistance to my students in mathematics courses. I have also
partnered with students to present research at conferences that is based on the
supplemental instruction model I use for my mathematics class. The most
rewarding aspect of this is that it has improved success rates for students in
my classes. These results inspire me to continue my research efforts to find
more ways that can lead to student success in mathematics.
years ago I committed myself to the inspiring and hard work of equity in
mathematics education and I have not wavered: all of my publications,
research, conference presentations, and classroom materials I use and design
are about, for, and with Latino and English learners. Yet, it is doubtful a
person can be effective in equity work in isolation. I draw heavily on the
knowledge and experience from when I was a Research Fellow for the Center for
Mathematics Education for Latinos (CEMELA), a National Science Foundation
Center for Teaching and Learning.
have also been a high school mathematics teacher in Houston, Texas where almost
all of my students were bilingual Spanish/English speakers, and I taught for
three years at Chinese Culture University in Taipei, Taiwan as a professor of
English. Both of these positions inform my experience as a teacher of
mathematics and have shown me the importance of attending to language issues in
all academic content areas.
Review my CV.
- 2012 Ph.D. Mathematics Education, University of California, Santa Cruz
- 2001 M.Ed.
Second Language Education, Secondary Teaching Credential: Mathematics/Psychology, University of Houston
- 1993 B.A.
Psychology, University of Colorado, Boulder