Associate Professor of Education, Program Director
Kasi Allen is a “math activist” who began her career nearly three decades ago as a high school mathematics teacher in San Francisco. Her work as a K-12 mathematics educator has taken a variety of forms: classroom teaching in California and Oregon, facilitating professional development nationwide, evaluating K-12 mathematics improvement efforts, supporting innovative teaching practices, mentoring new teachers, and advocating for educational equity. Her most current research involves the study of “math trauma.”
As a doctoral student at Stanford University, Kasi began collaborating with Inverness Research, Inc., a small research and consulting group dedicated to supporting educational improvement in grades K-16, particularly in math and science. Since that time, she has continued to collaborate with her Inverness colleagues evaluating dozens of initiatives – from district-based curriculum implementation and teacher enhancement efforts to regional math and science partnerships involving many districts and institutions of higher education.
As a faculty member of Lewis & Clark’s Graduate School, Kasi is dedicated to providing rich, rewarding, relevant, and rigorous mathematics learning experiences for our pre-service interns that will prepare them to be the finest mathematics teachers in the region as well as the nation. In addition to serving as the program director mathematics subject area advisor for the ML/HS program, Kasi also teaches an algebra course in the EC/EL program that all interns must take.
Because she believes that valuable mathematics learning occurs both in and out of the classroom, Kasi has served every year since 2004 as a mentor, coach and/or volunteer for FIRST robotics. She sees FIRST as a key element in improving K-16 STEM education nationwide. (See www.usfirst.org for more information.)
As associate professor of education and mathematics coordinator in the M.A.T. Middle Level/High School Program, Kasi leads Lewis & Clark’s efforts to train and prepare math educators for the region and beyond.
Learn about why she thinks math education is a civil right—and how Lewis & Clark is making a difference—in this video.
“I love mathematics. I love teaching. And I especially love helping people of all ages improve their relationship with math. In the US, there remains a certain elite mystique associated with math. People both fear it and revere it – perceiving math as abstract and elusive, disconnected from the human experience, and accessible to only a select few. However, 30 years of research in mathematics education and cognitive science suggest that every one of us has the capacity to reason mathematically and to have fun in the process! More than ever before, all citizens need mathematics - algebra especially - to fully participate in our democracy. The task for math teachers at any grade level is to make a challenging and meaningful mathematics education available to ALL students.”
Areas of Expertise
Middle-level/high school mathematics, reform in K-12 mathematics education, gender issues in mathematics education, implementation of innovative K-12 mathematics curricula, communication in the middle-level/high school mathematics classroom
Most of Kasi’s research involves studying efforts to improve secondary mathematics education — from better understanding issues of equity to identifying and implementing best practices in mathematics education. She has a particular interest in the role that algebraic thinking plays in the mathematics education of children as well as adults. She is currently involved in multiple studies aimed at showing how a problem solving stance can help students of all ages experience greater success with this gatekeeper course.
- Allen, K. (2013, November). “Problems Before Procedures: Systems of Equations.” Mathematics Teacher. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics: Reston, VA.
- Allen, K. (2013, September). “Geoboard Triangle Quest.” Mathematics Teacher. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics: Reston, VA.
- Allen, K. (2013, February). “Math-powered Robots: STEM in Motion! Teaching Mathematics in the Middle School. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics: Reston, VA.
- Allen, K. (2012, November). “Connecting Research to Practice: Key to Successful Group Work: Culture, Structure, Nurture.” Mathematics Teacher. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics: Reston, VA.
- Allen, K., B. Farrell, H. Kojis & K. White. (September 2012). “Index Cards: Tools for Equity in the Math Classroom.” The Oregon Mathematics Teacher. Oregon Council of Teachers of Mathematics: Portland, OR.
- Allen, K. (March 2012). “The Purple Milk Problem: Reasoning beyond Algebra.”Mathematics Teacher. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics: Reston, VA.
- Allen, K. (January 2012). “DO MATH and Share It!” The Oregon Mathematics Teacher (TOMT). Oregon Council of Teachers of Mathematics: Portland, OR.
- Allen, K. (2011). “Mathematics as Thinking: A Response to ‘Democracy and School Math’.” Democracy & Education, vol. 19/issue 2.
- Exposito, S. & Allen, K. (2011). “Powerful Practices in Mathematics for English Learners,” in Lessons for Strengthening Number Sense (RTI Resource Targeting Grade 4 Common Core State Standards (CCSS)). Portland, OR: Teacher-to-Teacher Publications.
- Allen-Fuller, K., Robinson, E. & Robinson, M. (2010). “Curriculum as Change Agent: High Schools that Dare and What They Stand to Gain,” Curriculum: Contemporary Issues in Mathematics Education (72nd Yearbook of the NCTM), eds. Reys, B.J. and Reys, R.E. Reston, VA: NCTM.
- Allen, K. (November 2011). “Fostering Flexible Thinking in First-Year Algebra.” NCTM Regional Conference, Albuquerque, NM.
- Allen, K. (November 2011). “Making Groupwork Work.” NCTM Regional Conference, Albuquerque, NM.
- Allen, K. (November 2010). “Balancing Content and Pedagogy in Preservice Teachers’ Math Education.” NCTM Regional Conference, Denver, CO.
- Allen, K. (November 2010). “More Than One Way: Supporting Success for All in First-Year Algebra.” NCTM Regional Conference, Denver, CO.
Ph.D. 1997, B.A. 1986 Stanford University
From the Newsroom
Associate Professor of Education Kasi Allen published two articles in the national Mathematics Teacher journal this fall.
Professor Kasi Allen recently had an article published in The Oregon Mathematics Teacher journal, titled “Tablets in the High School Mathematics Classroom,” with one of our recent graduate of the MAT program, Meredith Wood, MAT ’13 — currently a 2nd year teacher at Inza Wood MS.
Professor Kasi Allen’s license plate says “DO MATH”—it’s an encouragement and a philosophy. Learn more how people have reacted to the plates and what it means to Dr. Allen.
Traditional grading methods, including giving zeros for late assignments and the 0 to 100 grade scale, can harm disadvantaged students enrolled in public schools throughout the nation. In a response to a question about grading in Parade Magazine’s “Ask Marilyn” column, Assistant Professor Kasi Allen argues for a new approaches that reward real learning.
New Common Core State Standards bring greater coherence to K-12 mathematics—but how are teachers adapting?