While working remotely at Brown University, I have been able to continue working on research that Dr. Walker has requested these past few weeks. I have continued to do research about historians, who have a background in the history of math education for African Americans, as well as looking at different innovators, who bring together STEM topics and play. I have learned that there is a new wave of research coming up about the advantages of using play to teach not only elementary students, but also, high school level students as a way to make STEM topics more accessible and break the mold of how STEM topics are traditionally thought of. The latter task really required me to do more in depth research, instead of just typing a key phrase into a search engine. Being able to explore the different components of STEM and those who have contributed to play research was difficult at first, but, understanding what made a resource strong or trustworthy came from repeated searches.
Aside from the incredible opportunity to work with Dr. Walker and do research with her, I also had the opportunity to attend the Noyce Summit in Washington D.C. for three days, this past week. I was presenting part of an independent study I had worked on my last semester at Barnard that tackles the ways to melt the neutrality of how we teach mathematics in classrooms. I presented two of my lesson plans that took real world social justice issues and applied them to a high school math classroom to teach Common Core content. Professor Edstrom and I facilitated a workshop that delved into teaching math for and about social justice, through a background of the course: Math and the City, and different approaches to applying social justice to math content in classrooms. We had interactive activities such as participants looking through their bags to “find math” and planning math field trips around current exhibits in D.C. museums. We also had the opportunity to present some of our findings by looking at students responses from this past semester in the STEM Colloquium. Being able to present a poster on a research that I was a part of was really rewarding, and again gave me a glimpse of possibly doing educational research in my future. It was also a great opportunity to talk to many other Noyce scholars, especially those who have completed their teaching requirements. I was able to attend a workshop: “Staying the Course”, which allowed me to really evaluate non-negotiables that I currently face, when it comes to schools that I am considering working in. As I am wrapping up my time, here at Brown University, I am really excited to bring back everything I have learned about math pedagogy, specifically back to my student teaching classroom and to Barnard. I am also looking forward to getting my next list of task from Dr. Walker, when I return. Being able to work on so many different projects, this summer, has been a privilege; I’m excited to see what I do with these experiences moving forward.