José Francisco Gutiérrez
[office] Tolman 4538
[email] josefrancisco <at> berkeley <dot> edu
About Me: I'm a 7th year doctoral candidate in the EMST program. I'm originally from Cathedral City, California, but lived in Los Angeles for five years before coming to Berkeley. My background is in mathematics and architecture. Aside from research, I'm also an avid rock climber and teen mentor/coach. So when I'm not in Tolman or on site, you can find me at Berkeley Ironworks. I recently sent Midnight Lightning, V8, Yosemite Valley.
Research Interests: My scholarly work is motivated by deep concern with the chronic and acute differential in California students' achievement throughout their K-12 mathematics education. My binary focus is on cognitive aspects of students' learning challenges vis-à-vis their cultural resources, dispositions, and identity. Because I am most concerned with under-represented minority students, I am looking particularly at the subject matter of algebra, which constitutes a gate-keeper to successful participation in advanced curricula and subsequent prospects of enrolment in college. In turn, because symbolical representations have been implicated as algebra's pivotal cognitive challenge, I have turned to educational semiotics as a means of identifying and investigating impediments in students’ construction of meaning for algebraic symbols. The prominence of discourse in the construction of meaning has oriented my research toward critical and culturally-oriented pedagogy in the context of mathematics teaching and learning. Insights from these reciprocal investigations of cognition and culture inform my proactive endeavor to design effective curriculum. Specifically, I create empirical contexts that enable me to examine the effectiveness and sustainability of implementing reform-based mathematics instruction in racially diverse, urban classrooms. An objective of my long-term research program is to identify theoretical links between the scientific study of student mathematical cognition and the scholarly traditions of culturally centered pedagogy and critical pedagogy. Through implementing experimental curricular units inspired by reform mathematics as well as critical/culturally-oriented frameworks, I aspire to demonstrate empirically the pedagogical utility of a proposed theoretical dialectic.
Current Projects: Kinemathics, and Critical Mathematics.