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Teresa K. Dunleavy

Assistant Professor of the Practice of Mathematics Education, Department of Teaching and Learning


Currently, I am PI on a project looking at the discursive practices of high school Integrated I Mathematics partner teachers. Each participant teaches in an urban school to culturally and linguistically diverse populations of students. This study is focused on understanding the teachers’ practices and whether/how they are striving toward equity.

My broader research interests are centered on analyzing mathematics teaching practices and understanding students’ perspectives of their mathematics learning. I seek to investigate practices that support classes to move toward equitable teaching and learning outcomes. I am also interested in understanding more about teaching practices that support the development of student discourse and attend to status issues in the classroom. My research methods entail collecting and analyzing data, including video and audio recordings, interviews, artifacts, and curricula. I utilize qualitative methods to analyze data across contexts and timescales in order to understand how interactions support learning.

Short Biography

I earned a B.A. in physics from Lawrence University. At the cusp of earning that degree, I knew that I was a lifelong learner and started to look into work in schools. I spent a year as a para- professional and solidified my desire to work with teachers and students. I went on to pursue an M.A.T. in math and physics at Duke University. Realizing that mathematics is a gatekeeper course for so many, I was ultimately drawn to teach high school mathematics. I spent several years in the high school classroom supporting students—and particularly those who didn’t think they could be successful in mathematics. The questions I had about students’ relationships with mathematics led me to pursue my Ph.D., which I earned from the University of Washington, in Seattle. After two years of adjuncting with the University of San Diego, the University of California, Irvine, and partnering in professional development work at San Diego State University, I joined the Department of Teaching and Learning at Peabody College as an assistant professor of the practice of mathematics education in the fall of 2015. I am delighted to be working in secondary mathematics education and to be building partnerships with local secondary schools.

At my core, I identify as a teacher, learner, mathematician, and teacher educator, and I do this work because I know all students can be successful in mathematics.

Representative Publications


Dunleavy, T. K. (2018). High School Algebra Students Busting the Myth about Mathematical Smartness: Counterstories to the Dominant Narrative “Get It Quick and Get It Right.” Education Sciences8(2), 1-13.

Dunleavy, T.K., Joseph, N., & Zavala, M. (2016). Black girls in high school mathematics: Crossing the borders of deficit discourses. In M. B. Wood, E. E. Turner, M. Civil, & J. A. Eli. (Eds.). Proceedings of the 38th annual meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, (p. 1091-1094). Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona. Online. 2016-11-9 from: link.

Campbell, S.S. & Dunleavy, T.K. (2016). Connecting university coursework and practitioner knowledge through mediated field experiences. Teacher Education Quarterly, 43(3), 49-70.

Dunleavy, T. K. (2015). Delegating mathematical authority as a means to strive toward equity. Journal of Urban Mathematics Education8(1), 62-82.


Book Chapters and Reviews

Johnson, H. J., Dunleavy, T. K., Joseph, N. (Expected 2018). Exploring factors that shape recruitment and retention of black Noyce scholars. In J. Leonard, J. Barnes-Johnson, & A. Burrows (Eds.) Research on the recruitment, preparation, and retention of next generation STEM teachers. (pp.). Sense Publishers.

Hundley, M., Palmeri, A., Hostetler, A. L., Johnson, H. J., Dunleavy, T. K., & Self, E. A. (2018).  Developmental trajectories, disciplinary practices, and sites of practice in novice teacher learning: A thing to be learned. In Polly, M. Putman, T. M. Petty, & A. J. Good (Eds.), Innovative Practices in Teacher Preparation and Graduate-Level Teacher Education Programs, (pp. 153-180). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Review of More Lessons Learned from Research, Vol. 2. (2016). Editors Edward A. Silver and Patricia Ann Kenney, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.