Season 3, Episode 3

Math professional learning experiences with Elham Kazemi

How do we continue to grow and be more reflective about our own teaching? In this episode, Bethany Lockhart Johnson and Dan Meyer chat with Elham Kazemi to explore how to look at teaching as a collaborative experiment. Moving more toward analyzing student thinking and how that contributes to teaching itself, leaves more space for one’s own understanding of math to grow throughout your career. When one revises their teaching based on the data we’re collecting from students and peers, this allows us to be both teachers and learners forever.

Meet our guest(s):

Elham Kazemi

Elham Kazemi is a professor of mathematics education at the University of Washington. She studies how strong professional communities develop in schools and how schools can be organized so teachers learn from and with their students. This work is informed by equity-oriented research on organizational learning, children’s mathematical thinking, and classroom practice.  She is co-author with Allison Hintz of Intentional Talk, which focuses on leading productive discussions in mathematics. She also edited Choral Counting and Counting Collections with Megan Franke and Angela Turrou, which focuses on the importance of counting from preschool to 5th grade.

Meet our hosts: Bethany Lockhart Johnson and Dan Meyer

Bethany Lockhart Johnson is an elementary school educator and author. Prior to serving as a multiple-subject teacher, she taught theater and dance, and now loves incorporating movement and creative play into her classroom. Bethany is committed to helping students find joy in discovering their identities as mathematicians. In addition to her role as a full-time classroom teacher, Bethany is a Student Achievement Partners California Core Advocate and is active in national and local mathematics organizations. Bethany is a member of the Illustrative Mathematics Elementary Curriculum Steering Committee and serves as a consultant, creating materials to support families during distance learning.

Dan Meyer taught high school math to students who didn’t like high school math. He has advocated for better math instruction on CNN, Good Morning America, Everyday With Rachel Ray, and He earned his doctorate from Stanford University in math education and is currently the Dean of Research at Desmos, where he explores the future of math, technology, and learning. Dan has worked with teachers internationally and in all 50 United States and was named one of Tech & Learning’s 30 Leaders of the Future.

Transcripts and additional resources

Show notes:


“When children thrive, teachers thrive. So what does it mean for us to thrive if we are focused on our kids’ experiences at school?” —Elham Kazemi