Dr. Ricardo Martinez is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. He joined Pennsylvania State University College of Education in the Fall of 2022 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he was an assistant professor in the Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education department. Before earning a doctorate in Mathematics Education and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instructional Technology (both) from Iowa State University, Ricardo was a high school mathematics teacher in McFarland, California, and Colo, Iowa. Both in and outside of Dr. Martinez seeks to create mathematical learning experiences that return the legitimacy of mathematical knowledge creation to the people.
His lifework is rooted in Critical Youth Studies and Spiritual Activism, where the goal is to create spaces for young people to liberate themselves both in the classroom and within the community through collective action. Dr. Martinez’s research in mathematics education focuses on teaching and learning mathematics for/with Emergent Bilinguals, ethnomathematics, teacher education, critical mathematics education, ethnic studies math, and community engagement through Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR). Outside of mathematics education, Dr. Martinez’s research builds on YPAR lifework (specifically PAR EntreMundos epistemologies) to grapple with the tensions of what it means to participate with students, teachers, and community members when engaged in critical scholarship and practice. As a Fulbright Specialist, Dr. Martinez worked in Montevideo, Uruguay, on a project titled, Place-based pedagogies in provincial Uruguay, where he worked with youth and teachers to collectively create cartographies of conocimientos. So far, Ricardo has been lucky to work with youth in Iowa, Colorado, Nebraska, and Uruguay in YPAR as youth explore their interests in researching the root causes of societal injustices.
Dr. Martinez values the relational aspect of learning, where it is important to remember that people are more important than any research project, manuscript, subject area, class, or degree. Where we all need to take time to make sure that we are okay and find time to center our emotional, physical, and mental health, this requires a commitment to yourself, others, and the (shared) world.