My name is Ilana Horn. I study the teaching and learning of mathematics in US secondary schools. My work has mostly focused on urban schools, like the ones I taught in when I was a high school teacher. I named this blog teaching/math/culture, because the permutations of those words capture the breadth of my work.
I focus primarily on teachers: what do teachers need to do to reach more kids, what does it take for them to learn it, and what would schools look like that support them in doing this? The answers to these questions stand to inform teaching practice, professional education, school organization, and policy. This is the teaching/math and teaching/culture part of my work. But I am also interested in broadening our notions of mathematical competence. What do classrooms look like that are inclusive and incorporate rich mathematics? This is the math/culture part of my work.
My work lies at the intersection of several disciplines: mathematics education, the sociology of schooling, and learning sciences. A lot of the time, I watch videos of teachers talking about what they do to get a sense of how they understand the problems they encounter and what the best ways are to solve them.
I currently work at Vanderbilt University. Previously, I was a professor at University of Washington and a postdoctoral research fellow at Stanford University. I earned my bachelors degree in mathematics at Swarthmore College, and my graduate degrees in mathematics education at UC Berkeley. I have won a number of awards for my research, which has been funded by the American Educational Research Association, National Science Foundation, the Carnegie Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation.
Here is my first book published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. It describes a way of using collaborative work in mathematics classrooms called Complex Instruction. Here is my second book, published by Heinemann Publishing. It provides a framework for thinking about student motivation as a problem of instructional design. Finally, here is my website, where you can find out more about my research and links to talks I have given.
I also like to knit and tweet about my kids.