Kari Kokka

Dr. Kari Kokka is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education in the Department of Instruction and Learning. She studies student and teacher perspectives of Social Justice Mathematics and longevity of STEM teachers of color in urban schools. Prior to her doctoral studies, she was a math teacher and math coach for 10 years at Vanguard High School, a Title I public high school in New York City where she used Complex Instruction, Project Based Learning, and Performance Assessment, and she was a math teacher and diving coach for one year at Berkeley High School in Berkeley, CA. She was also a Mathematics Performance Assessment Development and Research Associate at the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity where she engaged in research to support teachers' implementation of Performance Assessment and Project Based Learning. Dr. Kokka completed her Ed.D. at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, her M.A. with the Stanford Teacher Education Program, and her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. She served as co-chair of the Critical Educators for Social Justice Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association 2017-2019. She is also co-founder of the Creating Balance in an Unjust World Conference on STEM Education and Social Justice (founded in 2007). She was recently awarded the Iris Marion Young Award for Social Justice by the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs of the University of Pittsburgh.

School Affiliations

Recent Grants

Co-Principal Investigator (2020-2023). Political Conocimiento in Teaching Mathematics: Preparing Teachers to Advocate for Students. With Rochelle Gutierrez, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign (PI), Marrielle Meyers, Kennesaw State University (Co-PI). Spencer Foundation ($500,000).
Co-Principal Investigator (2019-2022). Student Engagement in Mathematics: A Longitudinal Study of Classroom and Psychosocial Processes. With Ming-Te Wang (PI), Xu Qin (Co-PI), and Jennifer Fredricks (Co-I). National Science Foundation ($1.5 million).

Recent Publications

Kokka, K. & Chao, T. (2020). How I show up for Brown and Black Students: Asian American Male Mathematics Teachers Seeking Solidarity. In Bristol, T. & Woodson, A. (Eds). Out of Many One: Male Teachers of Color and the Re-making of the Teaching Force. Race Ethnicity and Education, 23(3).
Kokka, K. (2019). Healing-Informed Social Justice Mathematics: Promoting Students' Sociopolitical Consciousness and Well-Being in Mathematics Class. Urban Education, 54(9), 1179-1209.
Kokka, K. (2018). Radical STEM Teacher Activism: Collaborative Organizing to Sustain Social Justice Pedagogy in STEM fields. The Journal of Educational Foundations, 31(1,2), 86-113.
Kokka K. (2017). Alternatives to standardized tests - How Performance Assessment supported a math team's journey toward AP Calculus. In Murphy, B. (Ed.) Inside Our Schools: Teachers on the Failure and Future of Education Reform. Cambridge: Harvard Education Press.
Chung, R., Daro, V., Holtius, N., Kokka, K., Martin, D., Renner, N., Schultz, S., & Wertheim (2016). Evaluating Item Quality in Large-Scale Assessments: Phase I Report of the Study of State Assessment Systems. Stanford Center for Assessment Learning and Equity and Understanding Language.
Bae, S., & Kokka, K. (2016). Student Engagement in Assessments: What Students and Teachers Find Engaging. Stanford, CA. Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity.