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Angela Chan Turrou
Angela has been hooked on how children think about mathematics since working on her first research project in South Los Angeles with her mentor, Megan Franke. She got to interview first-, third-, and fifth-graders about how they were thinking algebraically. She learned a lot from these bright young minds as she was able to contribute to a large-scale study about professional development in elementary mathematics.
Since completing her PhD in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, Angela has since pursued a career as a researcher and educator, working at the intersection of children’s mathematical thinking, student engagement, and teacher learning in early childhood and elementary school settings. Her research work involves spending lots of time on classroom floors--whether it’s taking copious notes about how a four year old is counting a bag of pennies or repositioning a videorecording device to capture an intense problem-solving session between a pair of third-graders. Alongside the research work, Angela regularly engages with groups of teachers in professional development settings across Southern California, focusing primarily on Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI).
Angela loves working side-by-side with teachers at different points of their journeys--from teacher candidates who are making their first student teaching plans, to new teachers who are navigating the complex world of first-year teaching, to seasoned veterans who are still finding ways to learn and innovate. She is constantly inspired by teachers who, on a daily basis, put children's thinking at the center of their work and challenge the broader discourse of who does and doesn't get to be "good at math." She is also energized on a daily basis by the variety of students she gets to learn from, be they young preschoolers figuring out how to count the pencils before they roll off the table or middle school students asking thoughtful questions as they make real-life connections to the mathematics they are learning.
Angela was born and raised in Southern California and considers herself a lifelong member of the UCLA community (even though her husband Tyson hails from the crosstown rival USC). She loves living in Los Angeles and experiencing her town newly through the eyes of her daughter, Annie. And yes, of course she takes every opportunity she can to covertly capture the development of young Annie’s counting!