About Me (Bio):
Beth Herbel-Eisenmann joined the mathematics education faculty in January 2008 and is an Associate Professor in the Teacher Education Department. Her research interests include bringing a discourse perspective to the study of written, enacted, and hidden curriculum in mathematics classrooms. She has drawn from speech act theory, ethnography of communication, pragmatics, and conversational analysis as well as mathematics education literatures in her research.
She has also become familiar with systemic functional grammar as part of the theoretical framework for her current NSF CAREER award (Discourse analysis: A catalyst for reflective inquiry in mathematics classrooms). This grant work investigates how focusing on classroom discourse through the process action research can impact teachers’ positioning and practice over time. The use of action research can help address tensions between ‘espoused’ goals and discourse practices. Examining one’s classroom discourse can help teachers see more clearly how particular language patterns they have been enculturated into might undermine the kind of discourse they want to promote. This type of analysis offers a lens to think about how fundamental values about knowledge and authority are inherent in the classroom discourse. She is interested not only in interrogating the norms that are embedded in and carried by teacher and textbook discourse patterns, but she is also dedicated to understanding how these patterns may impact diverse students in the classroom (especially in terms of their mathematical understandings, dispositions, and epistemology).