CSSE Department Welcomes Megan Taylor

Posted by Pamela Van Halsema on August 16, 2012 10:56 AM

Megan Taylor

The CSSE Department in the School of Education welcomes new Assistant Professor for Mathematics Education Megan Taylor this semester.  She comes to Sonoma State having just completed  a post-doctoral research fellowship at Harvard Graduate School of Education for the TESLA Project (Transforming the Engagement of Students Learning Algebra).  Immediately prior to the postdoc, her doctoral work at Stanford focused on the way mathematics teachers use and adapt textbooks in the classroom.

We asked Megan tell us a little about herself and her journey to becoming a mathematics educator:

*Math was never easy for me. If you had told me, as I was struggling through freshman Algebra (and hating every minute), that I would become a mathematics teacher, I would have laughed hysterically (and probably cried a little, too). But I AM a math teacher today in spite of and because of the teachers I had along the way. Teachers who ignored my needs, who frustrated me, who saw me as a lost cause. Teachers who inspired me to challenge myself, try my best, and never give up. Teachers who helped me realize I wanted to BE a teacher.

Today I work with mathematics teachers and study mathematics teaching so more people can help more students be successful in mathematics. In my dissertation research I studied how four teachers worked to use their textbooks more effectively, and observed fascinating changes in how they adapted and created curriculum materials over time. In my postdoc the past two years I developed curricula and a professional development experience for over 400 teachers, as part of a project designed to understand motivation in middle-school mathematics. One of the most recent findings emerging from the data is that the "best" lessons were not necessarily those from teachers implementing our materials the way we expected them to.

I couldn't be more excited to join the SSU team and get to know the Seawolf culture!"