2020 AMTE Winners of the NTLI Fellowship

Congratulations to Frances K. Harper, Zachary Stumbo, & Nicholas Kim, of University of Tennessee – Knoxville, AMTE winners of the 2020 NTLI Fellowship for their manuscript When Robots Invade the Neighborhood: Learning to Teach PK-5 Mathematics Leveraging Both Technology and Community Knowledge.

Dr. Frances K. Harper is an Assistant Professor of STEM (Mathematics) Education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK). She is a former high school mathematics teacher and PK-12 mathematics and reading educator. Frances earned her Ph.D. in Mathematics Education at Michigan State University in 2017. Currently, she teaches elementary mathematics methods courses, conducts professional development for PK-12 teachers of mathematics, and leads mathematics education workshops for families.

Frances’s research and teaching focus on identity and power in urban mathematics classrooms. Her work concentrates in three large domains: (1) teachers learning to use equity-directed pedagogies; (2) students negotiating their social and mathematics identities in the context of equity-directed instruction; and (3) educational stakeholders (e.g., policymakers, families) influencing power dynamics in mathematics classrooms. As a researcher and teacher educator, she emphasizes disrupting systemic inequities to encourage historically marginalized students to see their racial and gendered identities as compatible with identities as capable learners and doers of mathematics.

Zachary Stumbo is a third-year doctoral student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He spent a decade teaching elementary school in rural Eastern Kentucky, where he served on district-level content committees for content adoption in mathematics and science and as technology coordinator at his school. Zachary earned his M.Ed. from Morehead State University in 2017 with a focus on teacher leadership. Currently, he is a teaching assistant for elementary mathematics methods and an instructor for a survey course on international education.

Zachary’s research interests center on elements of teacher identity that correspond to teachers’ perceptions of teaching controversial issues, LGBT teachers’ perceptions of their sexuality within a school space, and teachers’ identities as using and developing integrated curricula that authentically make connections between core content areas and students’ lived experiences. Zachary is the process of refining his dissertation design after receiving in-kind resource support from a major elementary school publisher for 30 classrooms as he investigates questions surrounding the use of classroom periodicals as teaching tools for controversial issues while also supporting interdisciplinary learning. 

Nicholas Kim is a third-year doctoral student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He spent seven years teaching mathematics at a high school in East Tennessee, where he served on district-level committees for AP Statistics as well as mathematics textbook adoptions. Nicholas earned a master’s degree in Teacher Education in 2011 at the University of Tennessee. Currently, he is a teaching assistant for secondary mathematics methods as well as VolsTeach courses and an instructor for the introduction to STEM teaching and inquiry-based lesson design.

Nicholas’ research interests concentrate on mathematics education that offer practitioners equitable pragmatic research to apply directly to their own practice and teaching such as how family STEM nights can motivate students in STEM, how participation structures in group work can promote access and accountability, and how effective professional development in rural Appalachia improved mastery of content. Currently, Nicholas is proposing his dissertation on recruiting and retaining secondary STEM teachers while focusing on pre-service minority mathematics educators’ experiences and resources that motivated them to pursue a career in teaching secondary mathematics.