By: Hannah Schneider – College of Education 

College of Education’s Melissa Graham won third place in the Arts and Education category at the 2020 GSPA Research Expo via Zoom. Her research focused on mathematics preservice teachers (PST’s) and their understanding of equity in the classroom.   

Her research explains the connection between how a student’s personal life experiences has an impact on their ability to learn mathematics. She brought to light how teaching math can be a form of social justice for teachers. 

Graham began this research initially because of her own experience as a preservice teacher.  

“I left my teacher ED program feeling like I didn’t have enough practice in the classroom prior to my student teaching, and the strategies I used that I would consider equitable are ones that I happened upon,” Graham said. 

This research works to bridge this gap. Helping PST’s see the ways they can connect with their students on a deeper and more understanding level can be vital for every student to succeed. 

Our student population is diverse, and in math we’re not reaching enough learners, especially those from historically marginalized populations,” she said.  

Graham’s research will provide future teachers the ability to better see more opportunities to make a positive difference in their students.