Person

Robert Q. Berry III

Nationality:

American

Location:

Charlottesville, Virginia

Occupation:

Professor of Mathematics at the University of Virginia

Robert Q. Berry III is the associate dean of diversity, equity, and inclusion and professor of mathematics at the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia. Berry has embraced writings on critical race theory and espouses looking at subjects through a racial lens, claiming that racism has become normal. Berry advocates teaching left-of-center “social justice” and critical race theory-aligned “equity” in math classes. Berry has called for schools to stop teaching students according to their abilities but to instead allow higher and lower-level students to learn at the same level.

Views

Berry has claimed that “racism is so endemic that it is normal.” [1] Berry has stated that mathematics educators need to teach more than just math and need to engage in critical race theory-aligned anti-racist education in daily practices. [2] Berry is a proponent of teaching left-progressive social policy in mathematics classrooms. [3]

Berry also advocates ending “tracking” in schools, the method by which students are placed in classes according to ability or achievement levels. [4] Berry argues that higher-level students may not have had enough time to engage with content while lower-performing students may become bored being in lower-level math classes. [5] Berry states tracking exacerbates bias and inequity in schools. [6]

Berry has a Padlet website on math resources that highlights links to websites on social justice math, equity and justice in algebra, mapping police violence, black lives matter in schools, racism in medicine, COVID health equity, and pathways to equitable math instruction. [7]

Social Justice in Math

Books

In 2020, Berry co-authored a book titled High School Mathematics Lessons to Explore, Understand, and Respond to Social Justice. [8] Topics in the book, taught through a left-progressive “social justice” lens, include environmental injustice, wealth inequity, food insecurity, gender, LGBTQ interests, and racial discrimination. [9]

Berry has advocated for the book Critical Race Theory in Mathematics Education, stating school leaders and teachers “learn about critical race theory as a framework to examine issues impacting mathematics teaching and learning.” [10] Berry wrote a review for the authors stating the book transcends traditional boundaries in mathematics and moves readers to see math teaching and learning through a critical race theory lens. [11]

Conferences

In October 2021, Berry participated in a discussion on critical race theory and mathematics education hosted by the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education – North America. [12] At the annual National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Leadership Conference, Berry spoke during the event on “Social Justice in Mathematics: Teaching and Learning.” [13] In March 2021, Berry led a discussion on “Mathematics Lessons: Responding to Social Justice” for 3rd-5th grade teachers at the Teachers Development Group Leadership Seminar on Mathematics Professional Learning. [14] The same month, Berry gave a presentation on “Teaching Math for Social Justice” to TODOS: Mathematics for ALL, a group focused on equity and the Latino community. [15] Berry also spoke to TODOS: Mathematics for ALL in December 2020 on Microaggressions in Mathematics. [16] In January 2021, Berry participated in an Education Week online summit discussing teaching math through a left-of-center social policy lens. [17] Berry spoke about social justice in mathematics at the February 2021 Just Equations conference on Advancing Social Justice Through Math Education. [18] In August 2020, Berry presented “Equitable Mathematics, Social Justice, and Actions” to the Colorado Council of Teachers of Mathematics. [19]

In May 2021, Berry was paid $1,000 by the Oakland (Michigan) Schools for a presentation on the impacts of tracking in mathematics and recommendations for de-tracking. [20]

Biography

Berry is the Samuel Braley Gray Professor of Mathematics at the University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development. [21] In August 2020, the University of Virginia School of Education named Berry as associate dean of the just-formed Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. [22] From 2018 to 2020, Berry was president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. [23] Berry was previously an assistant professor of mathematics education at Old Dominion University. [24] Berry has a PhD from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, a Masters of mathematical education from Christopher Newport University, and a B.S. in education from Old Dominion University. [25]

References

  1. Robert Berry III twitter account. www.twitter.com. April 15, 2018. Accessed December 20, 2021. https://lockesociety.org/crt-social-justice-on-full-display-at-upcoming-national-teacher-conferences/. ^
  2. Robert Berry III twitter account. www.twitter.com. May 30, 2020. Accessed December 20, 2021. https://lockesociety.org/crt-social-justice-on-full-display-at-upcoming-national-teacher-conferences/. ^
  3. Gewertz, Catherine. “Teaching Math Through a Social Justice Lens.” Education Week. December 2, 2020. Accessed December 18, 2021. https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/teaching-math-through-a-social-justice-lens/2020/12; National Council of Teachers of Mathematics website. www.nctm.org. Accessed December 18, 2021. https://www.nctm.org/leadership2021/#schedule; Teachers Development Group website. www.teachersdg.org. Accessed December 18, 2021. https://www.teachersdg.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/2021_Leadership_Seminar_Full_scheduleDescriptions_V.F11_253982.pdf; TODOS Education for ALL website. “Teaching Mathematics for Social Justice.” March 31, 2021. Accessed December 19, 2021. https://www.todos-math.org/todos-live. ^
  4. Berry III, Robert Q. “Don’t Track Algebra.” Education Week. July 17, 2018. Accessed December 19, 2021. https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/opinion-dont-track-algebra/2018/07. ^
  5. Yoder, Steven. “Is It Time to Stop Segregating Kids by Ability in Middle School Math?” The Hechinger Report. October 17, 2020. Accessed December 20, 2021. https://hechingerreport.org/is-it-time-to-stop-segregating-kids-by-ability-in-middle-school-math/. ^
  6. Berry III, Robert Q. Blog Posting. 2018. As cited by: Oakland County Mathematics Update newsletter. “De-Tracking Mathematics: Impacts of Tracking and Recommendations for De-Tracking.” April 2021. Accessed December 18, 2021. https://www.smore.com/tmzjs-de-tracking-mathematics. ^
  7. Berry III, Robert Q. Padlet website. www.padlet.com. Accessed December 20, 2021. https://padlet.com/rqb3e/sjmathresources. ^
  8. [1] Berry III, Robert Q, et al. “High School Mathematics Lessons to Explore, Understand, and Respond to Social Justice.” Corwin Mathematics Press. 2020. https://www.amazon.com/School-Mathematics-Lessons-Explore-Corwin/dp/154435259X. ^
  9.  Corwin Publishing website. “High School Mathematics Lessons to Explore, Understand, and Respond to Social Justice.” April 2020. Accessed December 18, 2021. https://us.corwin.com/en-us/nam/high-school-mathematics-lessons-to-explore-understand-and-respond-to-social-injustice/book262378. ^
  10. Berry III, Robert Q. “What to Read? My Summer Reading List.” National Council of Teachers of Mathematics website. June 2019. Accessed December 20, 2021. https://www.nctm.org/News-and-Calendar/Messages-from-the-President/Archive/Robert-Q_-Berry-III/What-to-Read_-My-Summer-Reading-List/. ^
  11. Davis, Julius, and Christopher Jett. Critical Race Theory in Mathematics Education. Routledge Publishing. April 2019. Accessed December 20, 2021. https://www.routledge.com/Critical-Race-Theory-in-Mathematics-Education/Davis-Jett/p/book/9781138562677. ^
  12. Robert Berry III twitter account. www.twitter.com. October 17, 2021. Accessed December 20, 2021. https://twitter.com/robertqberry?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor. ^
  13. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics website. www.nctm.org. Accessed December 18, 2021. https://www.nctm.org/leadership2021/#schedule. ^
  14. [1] Teachers Development Group website. www.teachersdg.org. Accessed December 18, 2021. https://www.teachersdg.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/2021_Leadership_Seminar_Full_scheduleDescriptions_V.F11_253982.pdf. ^
  15. [1] TODOS Education for ALL website. “Teaching Mathematics for Social Justice.” March 31, 2021. Accessed December 19, 2021. https://www.todos-math.org/todos-live. ^
  16. TODOS Education for ALL website. “Disrupting Mathematics Microaggressions.” December 1, 2020. Accessed December 19, 2021. https://www.todos-math.org/todos-live. ^
  17. Education Week website. “Teaching Math through a Pandemic Summit.” January 21, 2021.  www.edweek.org. Accessed December 18, 2021. https://www.edweek.org/events/online-summit/teaching-math-in-a-pandemic. ^
  18. Just Equations website. “Conference on the Mathematics of Opportunity: Advancing Social Justice through Math Education. February 2021. Accessed December 18, 2021. https://justequations.org/the-mathematics-of-opportunity-2021/. ^
  19. Colorado Council of Teachers of Mathematics website. www.cctmath.org. August 5, 2020. Accessed December 19, 2021. https://www.cctmath.org/index.php?option=com_jevents&task=icalevent.detail&evid=11. ^
  20. Oakland County Mathematics Update newsletter. April 2021. Accessed December 18, 2021. https://www.smore.com/ws4dv-oakland-county-mathematics-updates; Oakland Schools presenter contract. February 19, 2021. Accessed December 18, 2021. https://defendinged.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Robert-Q.-Berry-III_Oakland-Schools_2021-02-19_Contract-and-purchase-order.pdf. ^
  21. Robert Berry III LinkedIn website. www.linkedin.com. Accessed December 18, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-berry-23511712/. ^
  22. University of Virginia website. www.virginia.edu. Accessed December 18, 2021. https://education.virginia.edu/about-us/diversity/dei-office-diversity-equity-and-inclusion. ^
  23. Robert Berry III LinkedIn website. www.linkedin.com. Accessed December 18, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-berry-23511712/. ^
  24. [1] Robert Berry III LinkedIn website. www.linkedin.com. Accessed December 18, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-berry-23511712/. ^
  25. Robert Berry III LinkedIn website. www.linkedin.com. Accessed December 18, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-berry-23511712/. ^
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