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Maria del Rosario Zavala

Maria del Rosario Zavala is an American-born daughter of Peruvian immigrants, a mother, and an Associate Professor of Elementary Education at San Francisco State University. She studied mathematics at the University of California, Santa Cruz almost(!) became a high school math teacher, before working in elementary education. Across her 20+ career in education, she has worked in classrooms across the K-12 spectrum, and supported teachers’ professional learning in a variety of contexts. During her PhD in Education with a focus on Learning Sciences at the University of Washington, she became interested in ethnomathematics and social justice mathematics, and in particular how topics like these can make mathematics classrooms welcoming spaces for Latinx students and other historically marginalized populations. In addition to work on the role of racial and other socially constructed identities in learning mathematics, a large part of her research agenda includes defining, expanding, and evolving ideas of culturally responsive mathematics teaching (CRMT) – in particular the impact of CRMT on both teachers and students. Maria believes mathematics teaching and learning are creative endeavors. She has unequivocal faith in teachers, and the power of teachers, parents, and community members working together to make schools places worthy of our children.