Supporting Prospective Urban Teachers to Access Children’s Multiple Mathematical Knowledge Bases: Community Mathematics Explorations

  • Craig WilleyEmail author
  • Weverton Ataide Pinheiro


One way to address persistent inequities in mathematics learning opportunities is to re-conceptualize instruction to include the multiple mathematical knowledge bases children can utilize to thrive mathematically. This chapter explores the implementation of the Community Mathematics Exploration (CME) Module, looking specifically at how prospective urban teachers (PSTs) re-think the richness of community and cultural resources that help children make sense of mathematics concepts. The study produced the following findings: (a) instructor-initiated scaffolds seemed to help PSTs overcome struggles to access authentic, community-based mathematical practices beyond simply identifying contexts and spaces with which the children were familiar; (b) as a result of the extended experience designing and leading CMEs with children, PSTs expressed a marked shift in their outlook on teaching mathematics through a culturally relevant lens; and (c) the CMEs helped PSTs to develop a more robust understanding of culturally relevant mathematics teaching, as evidenced by their insights about what constitutes culturally relevant mathematics teaching and the conclusions they drew about the significance of the CMEs on children’s identities. We conclude by describing how PSTs move through a developmental process (i.e., Initial, Formation, and Enduring), where, in the end, PSTs signaled a likelihood to craft a mathematics pedagogy focused on children’s affiliation with mathematics and motivation to engage and persist.


Multiple mathematical knowledge bases Community Urban education Teacher education Mathematics education 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indiana University-Purdue University IndianapolisIndianapolisUSA

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