The Sci-Files – 01/23/2022 – Merve Nur Kursav – Productive Disciplinary Engagement of English Learners in Mathematics Classroom

Chelsie Boodoo and Daniel Puentes

Merve Nur KursavOn this week’s SciFiles, your hosts Chelsie and Daniel interview Merve Nur Kursav. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Mathematics Education at MSU and a research assistant in the Connected Mathematics Project (CMP) with anticipated graduation in Spring 2022. She received a graduate student award, and she has been recognized as a Fulbright Scholar and a Scholarship Undergraduate Teaching and Learning (SUTL) fellow. She is committed to promoting equity in mathematics and STEM education through research, teaching, and service. She has spent much of her career to date involved in all aspects of K- 16 mathematics and STEM education. The last decade of her life has seen her take many different academic and professional pursuits. Yet, through all of these experiences, one thing has been a constant: active ambassadorship of mathematics and STEM education. During her Ph.D. program, she has focused explicitly on statistical research methods and applied her theoretical knowledge in various mathematics and STEM education research projects [CMP, Instilling Quantitative and Integrative Reasoning (INQUIRE), and Scholarship Program for Retaining (SPRING)] and manuscripts. She has taken advanced methods courses and applied the skills she learned in these courses –both quantitative and qualitative–to her work on various projects. Inspired by her own experiences, she had the privilege to recognize the complex challenges faced by different populations of students in mathematics and STEM education fields. Her academic work reflects her commitment to working with all students, regardless of ethnic, racial, linguistic, and cultural backgrounds. With this commitment in mind, she designed a mixed-methods dissertation study focusing on teachers’ beliefs, perceptions, experiences, and strategies for teaching and engaging English Learners (ELs) in 6-12 grades mathematics classrooms using Culturally Responsive Pedagogy as her theoretical framework. Her dissertation study will set the stage for determining what teachers’ beliefs and practices in teaching mathematics to ELs are. She plans on using the findings from her dissertation study and plans future studies that will involve intervention and professional development for mathematics teachers of ELs. Being an educator of mathematics teaching is a high honor for her. In her teaching, she thinks that she is not only contributing to who her students (future teacher educators) become as individuals, but she has a powerful opportunity to guide them in embracing the diverse world. She has always believed that by knowing who we are, acknowledging our own beliefs and actions, and admitting the existence of inequities and injustices, we can do our part to make a change. She hopes to become a catalyst for change in the teaching and learning of mathematics. She is also engaged in the professional community and service to the field. For example, she is one of the founding members of the Critical Philosophical and Psychoanalytical Institute for Mathematics Education and Journal for Theoretical and Marginal Mathematics Education. She has been a representative to MSU Student Advisory Council and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee. If you’re interested in talking about your MSU research on the radio or nominating a student, please email Chelsie and Danny at [email protected] Check The Sci-Files out on TwitterFacebookInstagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube!