Arthur B. Powell, Jr. is Associate Professor of Mathematics Education in the Department of Urban Education at the Newark campus of Rutgers University, New Jersey, and Faculty Research Scientist and Associate Director of the Robert B. Davis Institute for Learning of the Graduate School of Education in New Brunswick. He received his B.A. in mathematics and statistics from Hampshire College, Amherst, MA; M.A. in mathematics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; and Ph.D. in mathematics education from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick. Dr. Powell’s research interests focus in the following areas where he has published extensively: writing and mathematics learning; ethnomathematics; development of mathematical ideas, reasoning, and heuristics; teacher professional development in the mathematics for teaching; and collaborative problem solving in mathematics with technology. At present, he directs the Research Group on Communication, Technology, and Mathematics Learning that is engaged in an investigative and instructional project, called eMath. To fund his collaborative research, Dr. Powell has garnered funding from local, national, and international agencies.
In service to the mathematics education community, Dr. Powell is the co-author with Beatrice Lumpkin of Math: A Rich Heritage (1995); co-editor and co-author with Marilyn Frankenstein of Ethnomathematics: Challenging Eurocentrism in Mathematics Education (1997); co-author with Marcelo A. Bairral of A Escrita e o Pensamento Matemático: Interações e Potencialidades [Writing and Mathematical Thinking: Interactions and Potentialities] (2006); co-editor with Carolyn Maher and Elizabeth Uptegrove of Combinatorics and Reasoning: Representations, Justifying and Building Isomorphisms (in press); and co-author with Brian Greer, Swapna Mukhopadhyay, and Sharon Nelson-Barber of Culturally Responsive Mathematics Education (2009). Dr. Powell is currently on the editorial board of the Journal of Mathematical Behavior; Boletim GEPEM: O Boletim do Grupo de Estudos e Pesquisas em Educação Matemática [The Bulletin of the Study and Research Group in Mathematics Education, published in Brazil]; and BOLEMA: O Boletim de Educação Matemática [BOLEMA: The Bulletin of Mathematics Education, published in Brazil]. He is the past vice president of the International Study Group for Ethnomathematics and, with Marilyn Frankenstein and John Volmink, co-founder and co-editor of the Criticalmathematics Educator Newsletter. Moreover, he has forged international collaborations between mathematics educators at Rutgers University and those in the Southern Hemisphere—in Mozambique, South Africa, and Brazil—and in the Caribbean—in Haiti. In Haiti, last year, along with a graduate of Rutgers University-Newark, he developed a professional development project for teachers of elementary schools, focused on the materials and pedagogy developed and popularized by the Egyptian-born psychologist and mathematician, Caleb Gattegno.
In the United States, Dr. Powell works to further Gattegno’s ideas on the subordination of teaching to learning. In collaboration with a small group of other educators, in 2003, he co-founded the Bronx Charter School for Better Learning, where Gattegno’s approach to the teaching of reading, world languages, social studies, science, and mathematics are practiced and where he directs the professional development of teachers in mathematics.