GSE Doctoral Student Explores the Equation to Calculus

Rasha Abadir

Rasha Abadir loves problems.

Particularly, math problems. As a young girl, she was fascinated by the variety of ways to solve them.

Years later, Abadir’s love of problem-solving led her to pursue a degree in mathematics, and, ultimately, a career in education.

“All students can learn math,” Abadir said. “That’s why I became a teacher. I am passionate about helping students develop a deep understanding of math and how it is a powerful tool to understand the world around us.”

Abadir earned her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Assiut University before she left her home country of Egypt and immigrated to the United States nearly 26 years ago. Her journey with education began when she landed her first teaching job as a high school math teacher in Kearny, New Jersey.

“Immigrating as a young adult was a transformative experience,” Abadir said. “It instilled a strong sense of determination and resilience in me.”

After receiving her master’s in mathematics education from New Jersey City University, Abadir began transitioning her career. In addition to teaching high school students, she became a college mathematics adjunct professor, which ignited her curiosity to dig deeper into math pedagogy.

“My role as a mathematics college lecturer sparked an interest in inquiry-based teaching methods, particularly in foundational courses such as pre-calculus and calculus,” Abadir said.

This journey of growth and exploration as a mathematics educator led Abadir to her current chapter: attending the Rutgers Graduate School of Education (GSE) to pursue her Ph.D. in Education, concentrating on Learning, Cognition, Instruction, and Development (LCID) and specializing in Mathematics. Her research focuses on how students learn calculus and how educators can better support them in developing a conceptualization of it.

“I am particularly interested in the role of collaborative and inquiry-based learning in enabling students to acquire a fundamental comprehension of calculus topics, which I perceive as vital for success in several STEM-related fields,” Abadir said.

Her future goal: to become a researcher in the field of mathematics education.

“I aim to develop evidence-based interventions that cater to the diverse array of learners in today’s college classrooms. I also strive to become a full-time college professor where I can help equip pre-service mathematics teachers with the tools they need to become effective future educators,” Abadir said.

“Here at Rutgers GSE, I am empowered to realize my dreams of becoming a future researcher and scholar, dedicated to enhancing teaching and learning practices in mathematics education.”

Learn more about the Mathematics Education programs at Rutgers GSE.