One idea that has gained considerable attention in mathematics education is that teachers should become facilitators of mathematical discourse (Bush and Kincer 1993; Hiebert and Wearne 1993; NCTM 1991). Mathematical discourse should encourage student interpretations of a mathematical task and student-tostudent interactions (Lo and Wheatley 1994). In the majority of American classrooms, few interactions occur, because teachers dominate the discourse by asking all the questions (Cazden 1988); and if students do not know, the teachers also give the answers. As a result, “teaching by telling” is the most common pedagogy. One alternative to this practice is constructivist teaching.
Jacqueline Leonard and Smita Guha
Current reform in mathematics education, spurred by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), emphasizes the importance of making connections to the realworld experiences of children. Even in such activities as riding a bus, subway train, or bicycle to school, the cultural experiences of children from diverse backgrounds provide teachers and students with a plethora of mathematics problems. Culture is meaning that is shared by a group of people who hold common values and beliefs (Malloy and Malloy 1998). Members of the group may have racial, ethnic, political, or community ties, which can be used as springboards for culturally relevant teaching.
Jacqueline Leonard and Louise L. Campbell
Linking Mathematics and Money connects with the everyday lives of middle school students. Some students in this age group are beginning to learn the value of money and may have a work permit to earn wages on a part-time basis. The purpose of this article is to address the use of Standards-based problem solving within the context of economic situations that provide relevance for middle school students. Monetary transactions can be used as a basis for learning number sense and more complex mathematics.
Nicole M. Joseph, Christopher C. Jett and Jacqueline Leonard
Cases for Mathematics Teacher Educators: Facilitating Conversations About Inequities in Mathematics Classrooms (hereafter referred to as Cases), edited by Dorothy Y. White, Sandra Crespo, and Marta Civil (2016), is a robust anthology about inequities in mathematics classrooms in three spaces: mathematics methods courses, mathematics content courses, and graduate and professional development courses. This pedagogical contribution utilizes and deconstructs dilemmas occurring in mathematics teacher educators' (MTEs) classrooms. The text consists of 19 cases and 57 corresponding commentaries (three per case) that serve as critical analysis for discussion. The authors present their cases to provide the reader with their respective dilemmas, identities as teacher educators, and strategies for engaging in equity work. This organizational structure is significant methodologically because it promotes opportunities for critique and conversation about the authors' biases and assumptions. However, there are missed opportunities in many of the cases to acknowledge microaggressions and systematic oppression in higher education and in U.S. society in general (Chang, 2016).
Sylvia Celedón-Pattichis, Lunney Lisa Borden, Stephen J. Pape, Douglas H. Clements, Susan A. Peters, Joshua R. Males, Olive Chapman and Jacqueline Leonard
In July 2017, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) released a new mission statement that shifts the organization's primary focus to supporting and advocating for the highest quality mathematics teaching and learning for all students. A key strategy for achieving this goal is to advance “a culture of equity where each and every person has access to high quality teaching and is empowered as a learner and doer of mathematics” (NCTM, 2017, “Strategic Framework,” para. 2). Increasing equity and ensuring the highest quality mathematics teaching and learning for all students requires systemic change (National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics [NCSM] & TODOS: Mathematics for ALL, 2016). As educators are called to enact NCTM's new mission, we acknowledge that such change is complex. We also acknowledge that our own experiences conducting equity work that is grounded in an asset-based approach are at different stages of development, ranging from beginning levels to lived experiences as diverse mathematics learners and mathematics education researchers. We see this change in mission as a call to both act politically (Aguirre et al., 2017) and to change story lines (i.e., “broad, culturally shared narrative[s]”; Herbel-Eisenmann et al., 2016, p. 104) that dominate the public perception of mathematics learning and teaching. We acknowledge that systemic barriers are part of a larger educational issue, but for the purposes of this commentary, we focus on mathematics.