Kari Kokka


Professional Title: 
Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education
About Me (Bio): 
Dr. Kari Kokka (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Leading. She uses qualitative methods to study teachers’ use of social issues in mathematics classrooms. Prior to her doctoral studies, she was a mathematics teacher and instructional coach at Vanguard High School, a Title I public high school in New York City where she used Complex Instruction, Project Based Learning, and Performance Assessment (2001-2011). She began her teaching career in 1999 as a mathematics teacher and diving coach at Berkeley High School in Berkeley, CA. She has also worked as a Mathematics Performance Assessment Development and Research Associate at the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity where she engaged in research to support teachers' implementation of Performance Assessment and Project Based Learning (2013-2016). Dr. Kokka completed her Ed.D. at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (2017), principal certification (NYS Building Leader) with the New York City Leadership Academy (2011), her M.A. with the Stanford Teacher Education Program (2001), and her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University (1999). She is a proud product of East San Jose, California, K-12 public schools.
University of Pittsburgh (Pitt)

This project team partners with the mathematics department of one urban public charter high school that serves 65% students of color (most of whom identify as African American). At the school, 70% of all students qualify for free or reduced lunch, and 25% of the students have Individualized Education Plans. This project investigates: 1) how mathematics teachers learn to teach the mathematics content through investigation of relevant social issues, 2) how teachers negotiate classroom dilemmas related to this approach, and 3) how students feel about mathematics and their ability to enact change toward an equitable society.