Ava Belisle-Chatterjee - Columbia College Chicago

Ava Belisle-Chatterjee

Coordinator of Education
Associate Professor



Ava Belisle-Chatterjee, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Education Department at Columbia College Chicago. Dr. Belisle-Chatterjee was also the founding Chairperson of the Education Department at Columbia College Chicago, serving in that role for 19 years.Dr. Belisle-Chatterjee holds a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Illinois at Chicago, an MA in Linguistics from the University of Chicago, and a BA (with honors) in Spanish Language and Literature from Loyola University of Chicago. Prior to her university career, Dr. Belisle-Chatterjee was an elementary school bilingual teacher for 12 years with the Chicago Public Schools. During her tenure as an elementary school teacher, she was a recipient of the Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence, awarded annually to ten teachers in the Chicago area.Dr. Belisle-Chatterjee teaches courses in the Education Department’s Master of Arts in Teaching programs. These courses include, “Methods and Materials for Teaching Mathematics at the Elementary and Middle School Levels,” “Methods and Materials for Teaching Social Studies at the Elementary School Level,” and “Assessment and Evaluation,” as well as student teaching seminars and capstone courses.Her research interests include the processes of constructing teaching practices; linking English as a Second Language (ESL) strategies with standards-based approaches for the teaching of math to English language learners (ELLs); integrating the arts into teaching; furthering the professional development of veteran teachers, especially around the instructional needs of ELLs; assessing teaching competencies; and alternative routes to teacher preparation and certification.The Illinois Board of Higher Education funded Dr. Belisle-Chatterjee’s research interests for six years with approximately $3 million in grants to work with teachers in two local school districts. Using the Japanese Lesson Study model, teachers engaged in professional development to learn how to effectively implement a model for delivering standards-based math education made accessible to English language learners through the use of ESL strategies and the fine arts. Dr. Belisle-Chatterjee is also currently a member of the authoring teams of the Everyday Math curriculum series, providing the ESL components of the program.Dr. Belisle-Chatterjee has provided service and leadership to the teacher education field at the local, state, and national levels. Currently, she serves as President of the Illinois Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

Instructional Areas

Methods courses for teaching at the K - 8th grade levels, especially math and social studies methods.

Creative Practice and Research Interests

Making rigorous math learning accessible to English language learners Using action research to reflect on and improve classroom practices


B.A., Spanish Loyola University 1977
M.A., Linguistics University of Chicago 1983
Ph.D., Education: Curriculum and Instruction University of Illinois 2002