Advertisement

From Community Exploration to Social Justice Mathematics: How Do Mathematics Teacher Educators Guide Prospective Teachers to Make the Move?

  • María del Rosario ZavalaEmail author
  • Kathleen Jablon Stoehr
Chapter

Abstract

Prospective elementary teachers (PSTs) often bring commitments to social justice to their teacher education programs but may not always know how to act on those commitments in the context of teaching mathematics. In this chapter, we analyze PSTs’ Community Mathematics Exploration Module activities (n = 23) to better understand how PSTs bring forth ideas of social justice into mathematics tasks that have strong connections to students’ communities, as well as reflect on how to support PSTs to move toward designing socially just mathematics tasks firmly rooted in community issues. Our analysis shows that while only 6 mathematics tasks had strong social justice components, 11 had strong community connections with the potential to “pivot” toward social justice by, for example, shifting the purpose of the mathematics involved without changing the context. This finding suggests that mathematics teacher educators can support PSTs to rethink and rewrite mathematics tasks building on students’ community knowledge with explicit social justice goals as part of their mathematics methods course completion. We conclude the chapter by framing some challenges for mathematics teacher educators to consider and address around making mathematically rich and socially just mathematics tasks.

Keywords

Elementary education Mathematics education Social justice Teacher learning Teacher education Mathematizing Bilingual 

References

  1. Aguirre, J. M., Turner, E. E., Bartell, T. G., Kalinec-Craig, C., Foote, M. Q., Roth McDuffie, A., et al. (2013). Making connections in practice: How prospective elementary teachers connect to children’s mathematical thinking and community funds of knowledge in mathematics instruction. Journal of Teacher Education, 62(2), 178–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aguirre, J. M., Zavala, M., & Katanyoutanant, T. (2012). Developing robust forms of pre-service teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge through culturally responsive lesson analysis. Mathematics Teacher Education and Development, 14(2), 113–136.Google Scholar
  3. Civil, M. (2007). Building on community knowledge: An avenue to equity in mathematics education. In N. Nasir & P. Cobb (Eds.), Improving access to mathematics: Diversity and equity in the classroom (pp. 105–117). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  4. Fosnot, C., & Dolk, M. (2001). Young mathematicians at work: Constructing multiplication and division. Portsmouth, VA: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  5. 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.Google Scholar
  6. Gutiérrez, R. (2013). Why urban mathematics teachers need political knowledge. Journal of Urban Mathematics Education, 6(2), 7–19.Google Scholar
  7. Gutstein, E. (2006). Reading and writing the world with mathematics: Toward a pedagogy for social justice. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Gutstein, E., & Peterson, B. (2013). Rethinking mathematics: Teaching social justice by the numbers (2nd ed.). Milwaukee, WI: Rethinking Schools.Google Scholar
  9. Hintz, A., & Smith, T. (2013). Mathematizing read alouds in three easy steps. The Reading Teacher, 67(2), 103–108.Google Scholar
  10. Leonard, J., & Martin, D. B. (2013). The brilliance of black children in mathematics. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.Google Scholar
  11. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers. (2010). Common core state standards for mathematics. Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  12. Trexler, L. (2013). Adventures of a beginning teacher with social justice mathematics. In E. Gutstein & B. Peterson (Eds.), Rethinking mathematics: Teaching social justice by the numbers (2nd ed., pp. 54–60). Milwaukee: Rethinking Schools.Google Scholar
  13. Turner, E., Drake, C., Roth McDuffie, A., Aguirre, J., Bartell, T. G., & Foote, M. Q. (2012). Promoting equity in mathematics teacher preparation: A framework for advancing teacher learning of children’s multiple mathematics knowledge bases. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 15(1), 67–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Turner, E., & Strawhun, B. F. (2007). Posing problems that matter: Investigating school over crowding. Teaching Children Mathematics, 13(9), 457–463.Google Scholar
  15. Zavala, M. (2016). Methods, maps, and meaningful mathematics. Teaching for Equity and Excellence in Mathematics, 7(1), 36–44.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • María del Rosario Zavala
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kathleen Jablon Stoehr
    • 2
  1. 1.San Francisco State UniversitySan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Santa Clara UniversitySanta ClaraUSA

Personalised recommendations