Associate Professor, Learning Sciences & STEM Education
Affiliate Associate Professor, UCB Center for Race & Gender
Dr. Sengupta-Irving’s research explores the sociocultural, disciplinary, and political dimensions of children’s mathematics learning. Broadly, her work asks a deceptively simple question: What, in addition to mathematics, do children learn when they learn mathematics? Dr. Sengupta-Irving works closely with teachers to understand and design pedagogical approaches that promote racially minoritized children's fluency in disciplinary ideas and practies, while also engendering a sense of joy, agency, and collectivism in learning. Through a mix of prolonged ethnographic study, teaching experiments, and microanalyses of children’s interactions, her work generates new knowledge to resist neoliberal logics that render math learning a stratifying project of race, class, and gender in schools.
Tesha Sengupta-Irving earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After working in industry, she became a mathematics teacher who first worked with incarcerated youth and adults seeking a GED, then later with secondary students in the Compton Unified School District in California. She completed a PhD in Mathematics Curriculum & Teacher Education at Stanford University, where she was awarded the Stanford Graduate Fellowship, a Spencer Research Training Grant, and a Spencer Dissertation Fellowship. She completed her postdoctoral studies at the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Sciences, where she also served as Assistant Director of Research for the UCLA Lab School. Prior to joining the UC Berkeley faculty, Tesha held academic positions at UC Irvine's School of Education and Vanderbilt University's Peabody College of Education.
Sengupta-Irving, T., Vogelstein, L., Brady, C., & Phillips-Galloway, E. (2022). Prolepsis & telos: Interpreting pedagogy and recovering imagination in the mediation of youth learning. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 1-39. PDF
Sengupta-Irving, T. (2021). Positioning and positioned apart: Mathematics learning as becoming undesirable. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 52(2), 187-208. PDF
McKinney de Royston, M., Sengupta-Irving, T., +Cosby, M. (2021).Radical Reimagining: Problematizing studies of mathematical identit(ies) among racially minoritized youth. In J. Langr-Osuna & N. Shah (Eds.), Journal for Research in Mathematics Education Monograph Series, pp. 59-82.
Sengupta-Irving, T., Tunney, J., & Macias, M. (2021). Stories of Garlic, Butter, and Ceviche: Racial-Ideological Micro-Contestation and Microaggressions in Secondary STEM Professional Development. Cognition and Instruction, 39(1), 69-84. PDF
McKinney de Royston & Sengupta-Irving, T. (2019). Another step forward: Engaging the political in learning. Cognition and Instruction, 37(3),277-284. PDF
Sengupta-Irving, T., & Vossoughi, S. (2019). Not in their name: re-interpreting discourses of STEM learning through the subjective experiences of minoritized girls. Race Ethnicity and Education, 22(4), 479-501. PDF
Agarwal, P., & Sengupta-Irving, T. (2019). Integrating power to advance the study of Connective and Productive Disciplinary Engagement in mathematics and science. Cognition and Instruction, 37(3), 1-18. PDF
Sengupta-Irving, T., & Agarwal, P. (2017). Conceptualizing perseverance in problem solving as collective enterprise. Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 19(2), 115-138. PDF
Sengupta-Irving, T. (2016). Doing things: Organizing for agency in mathematical learning. The Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 41, 210-218. PDF
Sengupta-Irving, T., & Enyedy, N. (2015). Why engaging in mathematical practices may explain stronger outcomes in affect and engagement: Comparing student-driven with highly guided inquiry. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 24(4), 550-592. PDF
Interest and Professional Affiliations
- STEM Teaching and Learning
- Inequality and Resistance
- Politics, Ethics, and Emotions
- Agency and Identity
- Ethnographic Case Study & Design-Based Research
- American Education Research Association (AERA)
- AERA Committee on Scholars and Advocates of Gender Equity (SAGE)
- National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
- International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS)