Maisie Gholson

Assistant Professor

Maisie  Gholson, School of Education

Within a Black feminist framework, Maisie Gholson’s research seeks to understand how our identities and relational ties to mathematics, peers, and teachers create different developmental trajectories and learning opportunities within mathematics contexts. She actively investigates that which is often dismissed as   superfluous to mathematics—children’s social relationships and networks. A driving force in her research is to foreground children’s and adolescents’ humanity, i.e., to take seriously the constructed racialized and gendered backdrop of childhood and adolescence as a visceral context in the process of mathematics identity development. As such, Maisie deals explicitly with issues of race and gender, along with the theoretical and methodological challenges that these complex constructs entail.

Her methodological interests have also led to her investigation of the relational work involved in critical mathematics teaching, as well as how the narrative constructions of White womanhood mediate young, White pre-service teachers’ development as justice-oriented instructors.

Maisie is a former high school mathematics teacher and prior to that a patent writer in her hometown of Houston, Texas. She is a UM NCID member, STaR Fellow, and a recipient of the National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship, the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in STEM Education, and UIC Graduate College Abraham Lincoln Fellowship. She received her PhD in curriculum and instruction from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and her BS in electrical engineering from Duke University.

Gholson teaches courses in the following program(s):
Combined Program in Education and Psychology
Mathematics Education
Secondary Teacher Education


Selected Publications

Gholson, M. and Wilkes, C. (forthcoming, 2017) (Mis)Taken Identities: Reclaiming Identities of the Collective Black in Mathematics and Science Education Research. Review of Research in Education.

Gholson, M. (2016). Clean corners and algebra: A critical examination of the construction of Black girls and women in mathematics. Journal of Negro Education, 85 (3), 290-301.

Gholson, M. & Martin, D. B. (2014). "Smart girls, Black girls mean girls, and bullies: At the intersection of identities and the mediating role of young girls’ social network in mathematics communities of practice." Journal of Education. 194(1), 19-33.

Gholson, M. (2013). "The mathematical lives of Black children: A sociocultural-historical rendering of Black brilliance." In J. Leonard & D.B. Martin (Eds.), The brilliance of Black children in mathematics: Beyond the numbers and toward new discourse (pp. 55-76). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, Inc.

Martin, D.B. and Gholson, M. (2011). "On becoming and being a critical Black scholar in mathematics education: The politics of race and identity." In O. Skovmose & B. Greer (Eds.), Opening the Cage.  Rotterdam: Sense Publications.




5/1/2019 - ongoing CAREER: Black Youth Development and Curricular Supports for Robust Identities in Mathematics
Granting Agency: National Science Foundation

9/15/2018 - ongoing Communicating Mathematically Across Difference in the Work of Teaching
Granting Agency: National Science Foundation


Room 4035