Reflecting Back to Move Forward: Using a Mathematics Autobiography to Open Humanizing Learning Spaces for Pre-Service Mathematics Teachers

  • Crystal Kalinec-CraigEmail author
  • Theodore Chao
  • Luz A. Maldonado
  • Sylvia Celedón-Pattichis


In this chapter, the authors present their experiences as four mathematics teacher educators who use the mathematics autobiography, one precursor activity to the Mathematics Learning Case Study Module from the Teachers Empowered to Advance Change in Mathematics (TEACH Math) project, in their courses. The mathematics autobiography can help pre-service teachers (PSTs) reflect on who they are as mathematics students and as future teachers while learning to create humanizing spaces for their future students to learn and do mathematics. While writing the chapter, the authors first shared their personal mathematical autobiographies with each other and then discussed what they learned from each other’s stories. Emerging from this discussion were three overarching themes related to the purpose of the mathematics autobiography in their mathematics methods courses: (a) to elevate historically silenced voices, (b) to create an entry point for developing PSTs’ critical lens for teaching mathematics, and (c) to encourage PSTs’ curiosity about the lives of their students. The chapter concludes by considering the implications of the mathematics autobiography as a means of supporting more teachers and teacher educators to adopt a humanizing stance toward mathematics education.


Mathematics teacher education Funds of knowledge Culture Community Elementary teacher preparation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Crystal Kalinec-Craig
    • 1
    Email author
  • Theodore Chao
    • 2
  • Luz A. Maldonado
    • 3
  • Sylvia Celedón-Pattichis
    • 4
  1. 1.University of Texas at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA
  2. 2.The Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  3. 3.Texas State UniversitySan MarcosUSA
  4. 4.University of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

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