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Julia Aguirre, Ph.D.

Faculty Director of the Teacher Certification Programs & Professor
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Dr. Aguirre's scholarship and professional development work focuses on mathematics teaching and learning, teacher education and culturally responsive mathematics instruction. Her work actively investigates how children's mathematical thinking, community/cultural funds of knowledge, language and power inform the development of teaching knowledge, beliefs and practice. She is committed to preparing a new generation of elementary and secondary teachers with knowledge and skills to teach rich and rigorous mathematics and engage families and communities to support mathematics teaching and learning. Her goals are to mathematically empower youth, families/communities and teachers to strengthen k-12 mathematics education access, performance and advancement, especially for those historically underrepresented in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). She has a bachelor's degree in Psychology from University of California Berkeley; Master's degree in Education from University of Chicago; and Ph.D. in Education from the University of California Berkeley. She joined the UWT faculty in 2007.

Current Research

Teachers Empowered to Advance CHange in Mathematics (TEACH 12H) is a five-year multi-institution research project funded by the National Science Foundation. TEACH MATH seeks to transform k-8 mathematics teacher preparation and early career teaching so that new generations of teachers will be equipped with powerful tools and strategies that are culturally responsive and increase the mathematics learning and achievement of our nation’s youth. A central focus of this work is to design and research instructional modules to be used in mathematics methods courses or professional development settings that support prospective and early career k-8 teachers to connect children’s mathematical thinking and cultural/linguistic/community-based funds of knowledge in their instructional practice. The pedagogical tools and strategies facilitate strength-based/resource orientation to mathematics teaching that supports student mathematical learning and engagement. TEACH MATH consists of six institutions across the country: Michigan State University; Queens College - City University of New York; University of Arizona; University of Delaware; University of Washington Tacoma; and Washington State University Tri-Cities. TEACH MATH has prepared over 500 k-8 teachers of mathematics.

Selected Publications

Aguirre, J. M., Mayfield-Ingram, K., & Martin, D. B. (n.d.). The impact of identity in K-8 mathematics learning and teaching: Rethinking equity-based practices. 2013