Prospective Teachers’ Reflections Across the Community Mathematics Exploration Module

  • Kathleen Jablon StoehrEmail author


This chapter examines the written reflections of 33 elementary prospective teachers who, as part of their mathematics methods course, engaged in a Community Mathematics Exploration during their teacher preparation program. Two main categories of questions posed to the prospective teachers included (a) questions that pertained to community visits and (b) questions that centered on lesson planning and mathematics teaching following a community visit experience. An iterative analysis was utilized to sort the prospective teachers’ key ideas regarding their Community Mathematic Exploration Module experience. Findings suggests that the Community Mathematics Exploration Module can be a valuable tool to support prospective teachers’ understanding of how to make connections in their mathematics teaching to their students’ home and community experiences. Key ideas include (a) opportunities to learn about students and their communities, (b) promoting student engagement, (c) real mathematics versus school mathematics, (d) a springboard to learning about diversity and equity, and (e) a guide to teaching practices. The Community Mathematics Exploration Module offers mathematics teacher educators the opportunity to help prospective teachers learn how to recognize the importance of making connections in their mathematics teaching that promote student learning.


Teacher education Reflection Community connections Mathematics education Engagement School mathematics Diversity Equity Teaching practices 


  1. Bogdan, R. C., & Biklen, S. K. (2006). Qualitative research for education: An introduction to theories and methods (5th ed.). New York: Pearson.Google Scholar
  2. Civil, M. (2002). Culture and mathematics: A community approach. Journal of Intercultural Studies, 23(2), 133–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Foote, M. Q., Roth McDuffie, A., Turner, E. E., Aguirre, J. M., Bartell, T. G., & Drake, C. (2013). Orientations of prospective teachers towards students’ families and communities. Teaching and Teacher Education, 35, 126–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. González, N., Andrade, R., Civil, M., & Moll, L. (2001). Bridging funds of distributed knowledge: Creating zones of practices in mathematics. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 6(1&2), 115–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Kena, G., Musu-Gillette, L., Robinson, J., Wang, X., Rathbun, A., Zhang, J., et al. (2015). The condition of education 2015 (NCES 2015–144). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved April 19, 2016, from Scholar
  6. Leonard, J. (2008). Culturally specific pedagogy in the mathematics classroom: Strategies for teachers and students. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers. (2010). Common core state standards for mathematics. Washington, D.C.: Author.Google Scholar
  8. Schon, D. (1983). The reflective practitioner: How professional think in action. New York: Basic Books, Inc.Google Scholar
  9. Turner, E., Foote, M., Stoehr, K., McDuffie, A., Aquirre, J., Bartell, T., et al. (2016). Learning to leverage students’ multiple mathematical knowledge bases in mathematics instruction. Journal of Urban Mathematics, 9(1), 48–78.Google Scholar
  10. Wager, A. A. (2012). Incorporating out-of-school mathematics: From cultural context to embedded practice. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 15(1), 9–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Santa Clara UniversitySanta ClaraUSA

Personalised recommendations