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Identity, Race, and Learning in the Mathematics Classroom

Nasir.jpgDr. Na'ilah Suad Nasir (Associate Professor in African American Studies and Birgeneau Endowed Chair in Educational Disparities at the University of California, Berkeley) was invited by the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning to speak about "Identity, Race, and Learning in the Mathematics Classroom and Beyond". Her presentation focused on how identity and race influence learning, particularly in mathematics. After much research in various underprivileged high schools around California, Dr. Nasir discovered that it is significantly easier for students to remember and perform math problems when they are conceptually related to something (especially something of interest) instead of just applying a mathematical formula. How students see themselves in relation to the problems is critical to the ability to learn effectively. Dr. Nasir's presentation generated lively discussion between students, staff, and faculty, and provided timely and important information for PsTL and CEHD.

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