Students’ opportunities to learn are influenced by their teachers’ classroom practice. My work at Knowles allows me to work with beginning mathematics teachers around this notion of learning, which is both fulfilling and necessary.”

Ayanna’s Story

Dr. Ayanna Perry is a skillful educator with varied experiences working with secondary in-service and pre-service high school mathematics and science teachers. Ayanna began her educational career as a high school mathematics teacher at a large redesign school in North Carolina. This experience informed many of her core beliefs regarding education, including the belief that teaching is more than sharing enthusiasm and content knowledge, and learning is about more than motivation and skill. Possessing a strong desire to become a more effective high school teacher, she left the classroom to pursue doctoral studies in mathematics education.

During her graduate studies, she worked as a university supervisor, teaching assistant, research assistant, and program manager. Her work as a research assistant included exploration of students’ understanding of mathematics on the Diagnostic E-Learning Trajectories Approach (DELTA) project, under the direction of Jere Confrey. She also co-managed the Noyce Mathematics Education Teaching Scholars program, an NSF funded grant under the direction of Dr. Hollylynne Lee and Dr. Karen Hollebrands, that provided her with the opportunity to support pre-service and in-service high school mathematics teachers. Her work with teachers was the catalyst for her dissertation work studying math teachers’ classroom practice, where one of the outcomes was a description of seven features that define equitable classroom spaces. These features served as the foundation for an article that she wrote. She has presented at regional and national conferences and has authored blogs and articles, and co-authored a book about mathematics teaching. Ayanna is especially interested in supporting teachers to teach students who have been historically excluded from science and mathematics. She continues to focus on this topic as an area of study.

Ayanna holds a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Shaw University, a Master of Science in mathematics from North Carolina Central University and a Doctor of Philosophy in mathematics education from North Carolina State University. Ayanna is a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics, the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators, the Association of Maryland Mathematics Teacher Educators, TODOS: Mathematics for All and Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society.

Hailing from Durham, North Carolina, Ayanna now resides in Bowie, Maryland, with her husband, Jason, and their three daughters. She enjoys reading, baking and roller skating with her daughters.


Curriculum Vitae