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Theodore Chao

Theodore Chao

Theodore Chao

Associate Professor, Department of Teaching and Learning


Areas of Expertise

  • Access and Equity
  • Early Childhood Education and Teaching
  • Elementary Education and Teaching
  • Kindergarten/Preschool Education and Teaching


  • PhD Mathematics Education, The University of Texas at Austin, 2012
  • MS Education, St. John’s University, 2004
  • BS Computer Science Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 2000
  • BA Film and Media Studies, Johns Hopkins University, 2000

Theodore Chao is an associate professor of Mathematics Education in the Department of Teaching and Learning at The Ohio State University. His research agenda involves engaging all students and teachers regardless of social identity (race, gender, socioeconomic status, etc.) to fully see themselves as mathematical humans, particularly through technology. He uses digital storytelling and photovoice as vehicles for mathematics teachers and students of color to create narratives that connect their mathematics identities with their community and family identities. He also builds technology for children to share their mathematical strategies, opening up windows for peers, teachers, and family members to recognize the brilliance of their mathematical thinking. Chao has published in journals such as Investigations in Mathematics LearningRace, Ethnicity, and Education, and Teaching Children Mathematics. Chao is currently principal investigator of a NSF CAREER research project exploring the ways children in urban emergent communities use Digital Mathematics Storytelling to share rich mathematical knowledge from their communities and families. Chao has taught courses such as Elementary Mathematics MethodsA Critical History of STEM Education, and Mobile App Development in STEM Education. Chao is currently an associate editor for Theory Into Practice (TIP), an editorial panel member of Mathematics Teacher Educator (MTE), a steering committee member of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PME-NA), and an organizer for the Free Minds, Free People (FMFP) conference.