Nicole Buchanan

My educational trajectory has been largely influenced by Hurricane Katrina, which hit New Orleans during my senior year of undergraduate work at Tulane University in that city. After completing a BS in Psychology when Tulane reopened in the Spring semester of 2006, I joined Teach for America to work as a teacher in the New Orleans school system that was so devastated by the storm. I taught a 7th grade self-contained class my first year and a 4th grade self-contained class my second year, and I was profoundly affected by the educational, social, and emotional needs of my students as well as by their spirit. I spent the next two years on a sort of "retreat" in northern California, living in a yurt in the middle of the woods and building a house on my family's ranch. My experiences in psychology and teaching lead me to enter the School Psychology program here at UC Berkeley.

My research interests center around the interaction between mathematical practices learned in school and mathematical practices used in everyday life activities. This interest is an extension of my own observations of my students' mathematical practices in and out of the classroom as well as my coursework towards gaining my teaching certificate in 4th-8th grade mathematics in Louisiana. My research interests are also geared towards teacher preparation and professional development, equity in education, and parent-school partnerships.

Currently, I work with Geoff Saxe and Maryl Gearhart on their Learning Mathematics Through Representations (LMR) research project, and through this project I have become involved in the development of a video coding scheme to operationalize and measure students' "opportunity to learn" during mathematics instruction in the LMR curriculum. I have also participated in the design and conducting of teacher interviews for the LMR project.