My Research

Kite 1 03_28_15Two Yucatec Maya boys, aged 5 and 9, are solving an everyday problem. They want to fly a kite, but they have no money. Consequently, they engineer a kite using black-plastic garbage bags, salvaged fragments of wood, and mixed remnants of red, blue, and yellow cotton twine and fishing line. For an hour, they pilot their construction at the edge of the ocean, without adult supervision. They experiment with launches: tossing the kite up against the wind, with the wind, from the top of a stone wall, and from atop an abandoned boat. They persist and improvise. Three times, they extricate the kite from the branches of an Uva del Mar tree. They lengthen the kite line by adding salvaged beach string, add weight to the tail, and adjust how the kite line is attached to the cross spar (Darling, 2018b, under review). When these boys arrive in the local middle school, will math teachers capitalize upon this wealth of practical problem-solving expertise? What can educators do to ensure that these boys’ cultural assets are counted? 



  • Darling, F. (2017). Outsider Indigenous Research: Dancing the Tightrope Between Etic and Emic Perspectives. Forum: Qualitative Social Research. 17(3).
  • Darling, F. (2018a). Is this math? Community approaches to problem-solving in a Yucatec Maya village. (under review)
  • Darling, F. (2018b). Capitalizing upon indigenous cultural assets in math classrooms. Opportunities missed? (under review)
  • Darling, F. (2016). Is Ms. Adams’ pedagogy Culturally Responsive? Exploring connections between teacher beliefs and practices in two 8th grade algebra classrooms. (Manuscript submitted)
  • Darling, F. (2012). Book Review of Maths in the Kimberley: Reforming Mathematics in Remote Indigenous Communities by R. Jorgensen, P. Sullivan, P. Grootenboer, R. Niesche, S. Lerman, and J. Boaler. 14(1) International Journal of Multicultural Education.
  • Darling, F. (2005). El personaje del mes. La Voz Bilingual Newspaper.



  • CMC3, Asilomar, CA. December, 2018. Experiencing being an English Learner in the Math Classroom.
  • SSU Math Colloquium, Rohnert Park, CA, October, 2017. Making Cultural Assets Count: Funds of knowledge in a Yucatec Maya math classroom.
  • Psychology of Mathematics Education-North America (PME-NA) Conference, Tucson, AZ. November, 2016. Making Cultural Assets Count: Community approaches to problem-solving in Yucatec Maya math classrooms.
  • American Psychological Association (APA) Society for the Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race Conference, Stanford, CA. July, 2016. Is this math? Community approaches to problem-solving in a Yucatec Maya village.
  • Center for Latin American Studies, Stanford, CA. April, 2016. ¿Es matemáticas? Dos recursos culturales de resolver problemas comunitarios en un pueblo maya yucateco.
  • Featured Speaker at Annual Student Conference, Stanford University, Stanford, CA. June, 2016. Two approaches to problem-solving in a Yucatec Maya village: Expertise untapped in the math classroom?
  • Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) Annual Conference, Vancouver, Canada. March 2016. Is this math? Community approaches to problem-solving in a Yucatec Maya village.
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA), Washington D.C. April 2016. Capitalizing upon cultural assets in Yucatec Maya math classrooms. Opportunities missed? 
  • Curriculum and Teacher Education Symposium, Stanford University, Stanford, CA. March 2014. How algebra teachers of Mexican immigrant students connect beliefs of Culturally Responsive Pedagogy to their practices.
  • Fulbright Press Release (2015):