Student Experience Research Network Blog

Earlier this month, we shared five guiding principles for creating inclusive mathematics environments. These guiding principles emerged from the Student Experience Research Network Inclusive Mathematics Environments Early Career Fellowship, in which 11 early career scholars reviewed and synthesized decades of research about students’ experiences with and perceptions of mathematics in middle childhood through mid-adolescence.

Together, the fellows’ syntheses highlight key features of the environment that support student learning and well-being in mathematics, particularly for students from groups that have been minoritized and marginalized in mathematics. As outlined in the guiding principles, these features include: critical consciousness among educators, a more expansive understanding of the discipline of mathematics, adaptable curriculum and instruction that allows for relevance for the specific students in a class, meaningful opportunities to engage in collaborative work, and assessment that prioritizes deep mathematical thinking and exploration.


Click the image to view our one-pager illustrating how the mathematics environment can shape student experience.


Today, we are excited to share the papers that were authored during the fellowship. One fellow, Nicole Williams Beechum, produced a report that looks across fellows’ projects and summarizes insights for education practice and policy audiences. Ten fellows produced academic manuscripts which dive more deeply into the topics listed above.

Research report: Expanding visions of success in mathematics for marginalized students: Building more equitable and inclusive mathematics environments.

Fellow: Nicole Williams Beechum, University of Chicago Consortium on School Research

Mentor: Camille Farrington, University of Chicago Consortium on School Research

Agarwal (2020). Disrupting gendered epistemic injustice in K-12 mathematics – A research synthesis.

Fellow: Priyanka Agarwal, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Mentor: Tesha Sengupta-Irving, University of California, Berkeley

Chen & Horn (2020). Reviewing the research on marginalization in mathematics education.

Fellow: Grace Chen, Vanderbilt University

Mentor: Ilana Horn, Vanderbilt University

Gladstone & Cimpian (2020). Role models can help make the mathematics classroom more inclusive.

Fellow: Jessica Gladstone, New York University

Mentor: Andrei Cimpian, New York University

Johnson (2020). Social class, culture, and the reproduction of inequality in collaborative experiences among college students in STEM. (embargoed)

Fellow: Anthony Johnson, The Ohio State University

Mentor: Jennifer Langer-Osuna, Stanford University

Kroeper & Murphy (2020). Toward increasing equity and inclusion in mathematics classrooms: Exploring the potential of proactive confrontation in teacher education.

Fellow: Kathryn Kroeper, The Ohio State University

Mentor: Mary Murphy, Indiana University

Miller-Cotto & Lewis (2020). Am I a “math person”? How classroom cultures shape math identity among Black and Latinx students.

Fellow: Dana Miller-Cotto, University of Delaware

Mentor: Neil Lewis, Jr., Cornell University

Ortiz (2020). (Ontologically) Black and proud.

Fellow: Nickolaus Ortiz, Georgia State University

Mentor: Nathan Alexander, Morehouse College

Priniski & Thoman (2020). Fostering an inclusively relevant mathematics environment: The case for combining social-justice and utility-value approaches.

Fellow: Stacy Priniski, Michigan State University

Mentor: Dustin Thoman, San Diego State University

Voigt & Reinholz (2020). Calculating Queer acceptance and visibility: A literature synthesis on Queer identity in mathematics.

Fellow: Matthew Voigt, San Diego State University

Mentor: Daniel Reinholz, San Diego State University

Wilkes & Ball (2020). How are Black learners positioned in mathematics classrooms? What do we know and what do we need to know?

Fellow: Charles Wilkes II, University of Michigan

Mentor: Deborah Loewenberg Ball, University of Michigan

We at Student Experience Research Network are thrilled to celebrate the fellows’ exceptional work and to share this collection of knowledge about creating inclusive mathematics environments.

The fellowship was led by Shanette Porter, SERN Director of Research and Senior Fellow, and Tanner LeBaron Wallace, professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Advisory team members included Deborah Loewenberg Ball (University of Michigan), Maisie Gholson (University of Michigan), DeLeon Gray (North Carolina State University), Luis Leyva (Vanderbilt University), Jamaal Matthews (University of Michigan), and Na’ilah Nasir (Spencer Foundation).

The fellowship was funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The findings and conclusions in fellows’ papers are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of the foundation.

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

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