Liberal Studies with Spanish Emphasis, BA, California State of Dominguez Hills, 1997
Program of Study: Teaching and Learning, PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara
Year in the Program: Sixth Year
Research Interests: Language is embedded in every aspect of education. It is in the national standards, district policies, state adopted textbooks, and rules and expectations in the classroom. Teachers and students use the language to construct meaning and understanding, and the language they use plays consequential outcomes in students’ learning. Barnes (2008) argued that the way teachers set up the classroom discourse shapes students learning. Central to this communication system is an appropriate language that teachers use and model for the students to adopt. For example, if the teacher uses the language of mathematics and talks like a “mathematician”, then the students will adopt this way of talking and communicating. Agar (2004) also claimed that language is richly embedded in culture, and Green and Santa Barbara Classroom Discourse Group considered the classroom –as- culture- in- the making. I am interested in exploring the role of language in the classroom and how it supports and constraints students learning as well as how it affects the classroom culture in the making. To begin this journey, I just completed a systematic curriculum analysis of the Common Core Standards in Mathematics to gain a better understanding as to what counts as “mathematics and mathematical practices.” Embedded to this study was a discovery of the history of the curricular trends in mathematics and their underlying implications. Another revelation was that the diverse “linguistic meaning of terms” of curriculum (Ornstein and Hunkins (1998) and the philosophically or politically influenced curricular language (Posner, 2004) contribute to the complexities of the curriculum as a field of study.