Student Experience Research Network Blog

Mathematics, especially when compared to subjects in the arts and humanities, is often mischaracterized as a static set of facts and rules, insusceptible to bias, and disconnected from other disciplines and issues in the world.

But in mathematics contexts, students have the same psychological needs that they have in other academic settings to belong, feel a sense of relevance and purpose, and believe that their abilities can grow. And, as in all subjects, students’ experience in mathematics is shaped by their identity and the norms and narratives that comprise their home and classroom culture.

At a recent panel, MSN Director of Research and Senior Fellow Shanette Porter moderated a discussion about how designing mathematics contexts with a focus on culture, curiosity, vulnerability, and structures for failure and redemption can lead to better mathematics learning and achievement.

The video of the session featuring Nathan Alexander (Morehouse College), Elham Kazemi (University of Washington), Dan Meyer (Desmos), and Na’ilah Suad Nasir (Spencer Foundation) is now available online.

Nathan Alexander and Na’ilah Suad Nasir are mentors in our Inclusive Mathematics Environments Early Career Fellowship, along with several members of the MSN. In the past year, many researchers in our community and their colleagues have furthered our understanding of how learning mindsets, classroom practices, relationships between educators and students, and inequitable access to mathematics courses influence students’ experiences and outcomes.

Several recently published snapshots from our National Study of Learning Mindsets Early Career Fellowship and our Mindsets and the Learning Environment research portfolio also investigate topics in mathematics:

We are excited to continue learning, as a network, about what it takes to create mathematics environments that support positive learning experiences for all students.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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