Faculty & Staff

Gregory V. Larnell, PhD

Assistant Professor

Gregory Larnell is an assistant professor of curriculum and instruction whose research centers on intersection of mathematics learning and socialization, identity construction, race and equity.

Prior to joining the College of Education faculty, Dr. Larnell was a doctoral fellow of the Center for the Study of Mathematics Curriculum, a Center for Learning and Teaching funded by the National Science Foundation. With CSMC colleagues, Dr. Larnell has conducted research on mathematics curriculum in the US and several other countries, and he has published research on mathematics curriculum standards in two edited volumes and Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School. His current work centers on studying and theoretically unpacking students' mathematics-learning experiences and the roles of identities amid mathematics-learning experience. He has published portions of this work in the Journal of Education and New Waves--Educational Research and Development. Dr. Larnell is also conducting research regarding and writing about urban mathematics education and urban mathematics teacher preparation. This work is ongoing and has appeared, in part, in the Handbook of Urban Education.


2011 - PhD, Michigan State University, Mathematics Education
2004 - BA, Lake Forest College (IL), Mathematics (with minor concentration, African American Studies)

Research & Teaching Interests

Dr. Larnell's primary research and teaching interests center on mathematics education and, specifically, the intersection of mathematics learning and socialization, identity construction, race and equity. Some leading questions in his work are: What does it mean to be a mathematics learner? What does it mean to learn mathematics while constructing other kinds of identities in school? How are those identities relate to issues of status and positioning, power, and mathematics as a school discipline? 

Dr. Larnell is also currently working on other independent and collaborative projects to examine--and rethink--the role of mathematics education (and urban mathematics education, in particular) in educational institutions and society. The themes of these projects include mathematics learning and remediation (REMATH); teacher education, teaching practice, and urban mathematics education; and theorizing urban mathematics education and mathematics-learning experience. He is also interested in and has conducted research concerning mathematics curriculum and state- and national standards in mathematics.

Dr. Larnell teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the College of Education, including "Research on the Learning of Mathematics," "The Social Context of Mathematics Education," and "Teaching and Learning Elementary Mathematics in the Urban Classroom."  In all of his courses, the central objective is to carefully examine the nature of math learning and teaching; to study, construct, and implement curriculum; and to rethink and reframe the social and political purposes of mathematics education.

Selected Publications

Larnell, G.V. (forthcoming).  “More Than Just Skill: Examining Mathematics Identities, Racialized Narratives, and Remediation among Black Undergraduates.” To appear in the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education.

Larnell, G.V., Boston, D., & Bragelman, J. (2014). The stuff of stereotypes: Toward unpacking identity threats amid African American students’ learning experiences. Journal of Education, 194(1), 49-57.

Martin, D.B. & Larnell, G.V. (2013). Urban mathematics education. In H.R. Milner & K. Lomotey (Eds.), Handbook of Urban Education (pp. 373-393). New York: Routledge.

Larnell, G.V. (2013). On ‘New Waves’ in mathematics education: Identity, power, and the mathematics learning experiences of all children. New Waves – Educational Research and Development. 16(1). 146-156.

Larnell, G.V. & Smith, J.P., III (2010). Verb use and cognitive demand in K–8 geometry and measurement grade-level expectations. In J.P. Smith (Ed.), Variability is the Rule: A Companion Analysis of K-8 State Mathematics Standards. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, Inc.

Newton, J., Larnell, G.V., & Lappan, G. (2006). Analysis of K-8 Algebra Grade-Level Learning Expectations. In B. Reys (Ed.), Consensus or Confusion? The intended mathematics curriculum as represented in state-level curriculum standards. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, Inc. 

Courses Taught

507 Teaching and Learning Mathematics in the Elementary School


For prospective teachers, integrating mathematics content with teaching and learning issues, including adapting and developing curriculum, planning, classroom interactions, and assessment in K-9 classrooms. Recommended background: Admission to M.Ed. in Instructional Leadership Concentration in Elementary Education program

516 Research on Mathematics Teachers and Teaching


Grounds students in research on mathematics teachers and teaching, while situating the literature within the broader sociopolitical context. Course information: Recommended Background Experience in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education or a related field such as learning sciences.

519 Research on the Learning of Mathematics


Examines research on the learning of mathematics, including: whole number concepts and operations, rational numbers and proportional reasoning, algebra, functions, geometry, probability and statistics, problem solving, and proof. Recommended Background:Experience in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education or a related field such as learning sciences.