|Bio:||Alex was born and raised in Chicago and attended grades K-12 in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). For over thirteen years, he served as a high school Mathematics, English, and Special Education teacher in various schools in CPS. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a B.A. in English (mathematics minor) 1986 and a B.S. in Education 1989. After teaching high school for two years, he attended Purdue University - West Lafayette and earned an M.A. English 1994. While at Purdue, he also taught undergraduate English composition classes. Currently, Alex is working on a Ph. D. in Curriculum Studies, specializing in Mathematics Education at the University of Illinois - Chicago. |
His research is informed by CEMELA goals that emphasize exploring the intersections between mathematics learning, language learning, and funds of knowledge. Specifically, he is investigating how games can reconfigure the functions and effects of 'play' as a developmental tool for students to make meaning of mathematics. One purpose of this work is to create an alternative pedagogical model that challenges today's dominant perspective of learning environments, which have proven ineffective for minority populations in the U.S. In framing this research, he seeks to apply sociocultural theory in order to better understand, and ultimately address issues related to Latinos' development in mathematics. If students develop most efficiently through dialogues and interactions with others in order to make meaning of mathematics, games may provide opportunities for learners to experiment with mathematical strategies and language in ways that are not constrained by typical classroom practice. Data for this study comes from video, field notes, and student artifacts from UIC-CEMELA work conducted in an after-school, non-remedial mathematics club and focuses on the nature and role of 'play' in understanding the cultural and linguistic resources Latino students utilize as they do mathematics.