Our Linguistic and Cultural Resources: The Experiences of Bilingual Prospective Teachers with Mathematics Autobiographies

  • Gladys H. KrauseEmail author
  • Luz A. Maldonado


This study uses scenarios shared by 28 bilingual (Spanish-English) prospective teachers as a point of departure for teacher preparation programs aiming to provide prospective teachers with situational awareness and instruction attuned to bilingual students’ needs. Twenty-six of the prospective teachers in this study identified as Latinx and reported growing up speaking Spanish at home. Two prospective teachers identified as White and reported growing up speaking only English at home but had the opportunity to learn Spanish at school. Throughout the stories shared in this chapter, we identify five common themes in these prospective teachers’ experiences: (a) their position in the mathematics classroom, (b) their overall academic performance, (c) their mathematics performance, (d) their academic instruction in a language other than their home language (i.e., Spanish), and (e) home values, support, and responsibilities. Through these common themes, we learn how their mathematics learning was impacted over the years. Notably, what these prospective teachers considered negative mathematical experiences provided decisive motivation for turning to mathematics education and finding teaching identities that foreground providing quality mathematics instruction to the bilingual community. The narratives shown here provide evidence of bilingual prospective teachers’ depth of educational insight and demonstrate an understanding of how they evaluate the utility of the instruction they encounter in their preparation as teachers.


Elementary teacher education Bilingual education Mathematics education Mathematics Prospective teachers Autobiographies Culturally diverse students Linguistically diverse students 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.William and MaryWilliamsburgUSA
  2. 2.Texas State UniversitySan MarcosUSA

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