Tesha Sengupta-Irving (She/Hers)


Dr. Sengupta-Irving’s research explores the sociocultural, disciplinary, and political dimensions of children’s  mathematics learning. Broadly, her work asks a deceptively simple question: What, in addition to mathematics, do children learn when they learn mathematics? Dr. Sengupta-Irving works closely with teachers  to understand and design pedagogical approaches that promote racially minoritized children's fluency in disciplinary ideas and practies, while also engendering a sense of joy, agency, and collectivism in learning.  Through a mix of prolonged ethnographic study, teaching experiments, and microanalyses of children’s interactions, her work generates new knowledge to resist neoliberal logics that render math learning a stratifying project of race, class, and gender in schools.


Tesha Sengupta-Irving earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After working in industry, she became a mathematics teacher who first worked with incarcerated youth and adults seeking a G.E.D, then later with secondary students in the Compton Unified School District in California. She completed a PhD in Mathematics Curriculum & Teacher Education at Stanford University, where she was awarded the Stanford Graduate Fellowship, a Spencer Research Training Grant, and a Spencer Dissertation Fellowship. She completed her postdoctoral studies at the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Sciences, where she also served as  Assistant Director of Research for the UCLA Lab School. Prior to joining the UC Berkeley faculty, Tesha held academic positions at UC Irvine's School of Education and Vanderbilt University's Peabody College of Education. 


Sengupta-Irving, T. (accepted). Positioning and positioned apart: Mathematics learning as becoming undesirable. Anthropology and Education Quarterly. 

McKinney de Royston & Sengupta-Irving, T. (2019). Another step forward: Engaging the political in learning. Cognition and Instruction, 37(3), 277-284. PDF

Sengupta-Irving, T., & Vossoughi, S. (2019). Not in their name: re-interpreting discourses of STEM learning through the subjective experiences of minoritized girls. Race Ethnicity and Education, 22(4), 479-501. PDF

Agarwal, P., & Sengupta-Irving, T. (2019). Integrating power to advance the study of Connective and Productive Disciplinary Engagement in mathematics and science. Cognition and Instruction, 37(3), 1-18. PDF

Sengupta-Irving, T., & Agarwal, P. (2017). Conceptualizing perseverance in problem solving as collective enterprise. Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 19(2), 115-138. PDF

Sengupta-Irving, T. (2016). Doing things: Organizing for agency in mathematical learning. The Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 41, 210-218. PDF

Sengupta-Irving, T., & Enyedy, N. (2015). Why engaging in mathematical practices may explain stronger outcomes in affect and engagement: Comparing student-driven with highly guided inquiry. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 24(4), 550-592. PDF

Interest and Professional Affiliations


  • American Education Research Association (AERA)
  • AERA Committee on Scholars and Advocates of Gender Equity (SAGE)
  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
  • International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS)
  • Berkeley Unified School District Math Task Force (BUSD)


  • STEM Teaching and Learning
  • Inequality and Resistance
  • Politics, Ethics, and Emotions
  • Agency and Identity
  • Ethnographic Case Study & Design-Based Research

Faculty Profile

Tesha Sengupta-Irving, UC Berkeley, Graduate School of Education


2009 PhD Mathematics Education: Curriculum and Teacher Education, Stanford University

1999 B.S. Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Contact Information

Office #4238

Graduate School of Education
Berkeley Way West Building (BWW)
UC Berkeley
2121 Berkeley Way
Berkeley, CA 94720-1670