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San Diego State University


William Zahner

"I am a member of the faculty in the mathematics department at San Diego State University. My research, teaching, and service activities all focus on how we can improve mathematics learning for all students, especially English Learners and students from  groups underrepresented in STEM fields. I enjoy teaching and working with students from across grade levels, from middle school all the way through graduate school.”

Recent Publications

Zahner, W. Chapin, S., Levine, R. He, L. & Afonso, R. (accepted). Examining the recruitment, placement, and career trajectories of secondary mathematics teachers prepared for high need schools. Teachers College Record.

Zahner, W., Wynn, L., and Ulloa, S. (in press). Designing for equity: Creating productive and powerful discussions in bilingual classrooms. In D. White, A. Fernandes, & M. Civil, Access and Equity Promoting High Quality Mathematics in Grades 9-12, Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Zahner, W., Dai, T., Cromley, J., Wills, T., Booth, J., Shipley, T., & Stepnowski, W. (2017). Coordinating Multiple Representations of Polynomials: What do Patterns in Students’ Solution Strategies Reveal? Learning and Instruction 49, 131–141.

Cromley, J. G., Booth, J. L., Wills, T. B., Chang, B. L. Tran, N., Madejad, M., Shipley, T. F., Zahner, W. (2017). Relation of Spatial Skills to Calculus Proficiency: A Brief Report. Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 19(1) 55-68.

Aquino-Sterling, C., Rodríguez-Valls, F., & Zahner, W. (2016). Fostering a Culture of Discourse in Secondary Mathematics Classrooms: Equity Approaches in Teaching and Teacher Education for Emergent Bilingual Students. Revista Internacional de Educación para la Justicia Social, 5(2) 87-107.

Zahner, W. (2015). The Rise and Run of a Computational Understanding of Slope in a Conceptually Focused Bilingual Algebra Class. Educational Studies in Mathematics 88(1), 19-41. DOI: 10.1007/s10649-014-9575-x.

Recent Presentations

Zahner, W., Lara-Meloy, T., Esteves, H., Vahey, P., Noble, T., Moorthy, S., Quarfoot, D. (2017, June). Leveraging dynamic representational technology to engage adolescent English learners in mathematical practices. Presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Jean Piaget Society, San Francisco, CA.

Zahner, W. & Wynn, L. (2017, May). Rethinking and redesigning learning trajectories to meet the needs of emergent bilingual students: The case of linear functions. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Education Research Association, San Antonio, Texas.

Zahner, W. (2017, May). Teaching future teachers about playing the game and changing the game. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Education Research Association, San Antonio, Texas.

Zahner, W. and Wynn, L. (2016, April). Identifying challenges and resources for ELLs’ reasoning about linear functions. Poster presented at the Research Conference of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, San Francisco, CA.

Roberts, S. de Araujo, Z, Willey, C. & Zahner, W.  (2016, January). Mathematics education and English learners: Reviewing literature to connect research to practice. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Mathematics Teacher Educators, Irvine, CA.

Current Research Projects

2016-2021. Principal Investigator.“CAREER: Designing Learning Environments to Foster Productive and Powerful Discussions among Linguistically Diverse Students in Secondary Mathematics.” Funding Agency: National Science Foundation (Award # 1553708), $922,263.

2016-2018. Co-Principal Investigator. “Partnering for Success: The Sweetwater/SDSU Mathematics Readiness Challenge.” (PI: O. Soto) Funding Agency: California Department of Education, $1,280,000.

2015-2018. Co-Principal Investigator. “Collaborative Research: Investigating How English Language Learners Use Dynamic Representational Technology to Participate in Middle School Mathematical Practices.” (PIs: Phil Vahey at SRI & Tracy Nobel at TERC). Funding Agency: National Science Foundation (Award # 1534626), total award $1,500,000.


 Bill Zahner

  William Zahner

  Assistant Professor
  of Mathematics

Department of Mathematics and Statistics
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92182-7720
Phone: 619-594-7247

Center for Research in Mathematics & Science Education
6475 Alvarado Road, Suite 206
San Diego, CA 92120
Fax: 619-594-1581

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