William Zahner


Professional Title: 
Assistant Professor
About Me (Bio): 
I am a member of the faculty in the mathematics department at San Diego State University. My research, teaching, and service activities all focus on how we can improve mathematics learning for all students, especially English Learners and students from groups underrepresented in STEM fields. I enjoy teaching and working with students from across grade levels, from middle school all the way through graduate school. Prior to my appointment at SDSU, I was on the faculty at Boston University. I attended UC Santa Cruz for graduate school.
Citations of DRK-12 or Related Work (DRK-12 work is denoted by *): 
  • Zahner, W., Milbourne, H., & Wynn, L. (2018). Developing and refining a framework for mathematical and linguistic complexity in tasks related to rates of change. Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 52, 21-36. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmathb.2018.04.003.*
  • de Araujo, Z., Roberts, S., Willey, C. & Zahner, W. (2018). English learners in K-12 mathematics education: A review of the literature. Review of Educational Research, 88(6), 879-919. https://doi.org/10.3102/0034654318798093.*
  • Zahner, W., Wynn, L., and Ulloa, S. (2018). Designing and redesigning a lesson for equity and access in a linguistically diverse high school classroom. In D. White, A. Fernandes, & M. Civil, Access and Equity Promoting High Quality Mathematics in Grades 9-12 (pp. 107-124). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.*
  • Zahner, W. & Gutierrez, R. (2015). Using multiple representations of functions in mathematical discussions with English language learners. In A. Bright, H. Hansen-Thomas, & L. De Olivera (Eds.) The Common Core State Standards in Mathematics for English Language Learners (pp. 107-122). Alexandria, VA: TESOL International Association in conjunction with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.*
  • Zahner, W. Chapin, S., Levine, R. He, L. & Afonso, R. (2019). Examining the recruitment, placement, and career trajectories of secondary mathematics teachers prepared for high need schools. Teachers College Record, 121(2), 1-36.
San Diego State University (SDSU)

This project will design and develop specialized instructional materials and guidelines for teaching secondary algebra in linguistically diverse classrooms. These materials will incorporate current research on student learning in mathematics and research on the role of language in students' mathematical thinking and learning. The work will connect research on mathematics learning generally with research on the mathematics learning of ELLs, and will contribute practical resources and guidance for mathematics teachers who teach ELLs.

University of Rochester (U of R)

This project will study a successful, ambitious mathematics reform effort in high-needs secondary schools. The goal is to develop resources and tools to support other high-needs schools and districts in transforming and sustaining  their mathematics programs. The model focuses on the resources required for change and the aspects of the organization that support or constrain change in mathematics teaching and learning.