[The If the World Were a Village book (Smith, 2011) and activity (described in this article)] was a really good way to open one’s perspective. As an American, I tend to be a bit focused on the United States, so to see how much [or how little] of the world is actually represented in my perspective was enlightening.
Living in the United States . . . I was surprised that only 5% [of the world population] were from North America.
Long-standing and ongoing calls exist for making mathematics meaningful, relevant, and applicable outside the classroom. Major mathematics education organizations (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics [NCTM], National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics [NCSM], Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators [AMTE], TODOS: Mathematics for ALL) have called for mathematics to be seen as a tool for understanding and critiquing the world. To prepare students and teachers to do this, we must go beyond “everyday" contexts and include analysis of social justice issues into our courses. We share an activity designed to address these calls while also addressing the mathematics goals of the course. We share data showing that prospective teachers learned mathematics while also learning about their world and reframing their view of mathematics as a tool to make sense of the world.