Ph.D. in Education, 2017
School of Education
December 1, 2012
Research Interests Include Student-Centered Mathematics Instruction, Beliefs about Mathematics, and Equitable Teaching
Janet is a second year doctoral student specializing in Learning, Cognition, and Development at the University of California, Irvine’s (UCI) School of Education. Her research interests include student-centered mathematics instruction, beliefs about mathematics, and equitable teaching.
Serving as a mathematics tutor in Los Angeles for various low-SES students incited Janet’s concern for mathematics learning. Lamentably, she discovered many of her students were behind due to deficient foundations in basic mathematical concepts. Wanting be a more influential part of students’ academic futures, she realized research was the most effective way to make a significant impact.
Academic research has been an integral part of Janet’s life since 2006. The (MARC-U*STAR) honors program supported Janet’s undergraduate research commitment. Working as a research assistant for the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS), she collaborated on two studies examining the effects of traumatic stressors (domestic violence, Sri Lankan civil war, and tsunami) on psychosocial and emotional functioning.
Although Janet grasped the magnitude of trauma research, her concern for students’ mathematics difficulties continued to grow. Thus, her priorities shifted to focus on educational research. Concurrent to Janet’s shift in research interests, she was awarded the California Pre-Doctoral Program Fellowship. This fellowship supported an off-campus research internship at UC Irvine where Janet assisted on a project, ST-Math. Through this work, Janet was introduced to the literature on mathematics research.
Upon entering the doctoral program at Irvine, Janet began assisting Dr. Rossella Santagata in examining the benefits of a student-centered, conceptually-driven mathematics methods course for pre-service teachers. Through extensive data examination Janet has developed a stronger understanding of the specialized knowledge and beliefs needed for teaching mathematics.
This winter Janet will expand her mathematics research experience by assisting Dr. Elizabeth van Es to develop an understanding of teacher noticing for equitable mathematics instruction.
Each of Janet’s research and life experiences had shaped her interests in mathematics research. She is a dedicated scholar focused on accomplishing significant work in the field of mathematics throughout her doctoral career. Janet is grateful for the support she has received from advisors, colleagues, and loved ones. Their encouragement motivates her to make her academic dreams come into fruition.
Outside of school, Janet takes pleasure in traveling, cooking, swimming, and pursuing other outdoor activities. Janet especially enjoys spending time with her husband, family, friends, and two dogs.