Welcome to the 2017 Teaching Children Mathematics (TCM) Focus Issue. According to Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All (NCTM 2014, p. 23), for students to learn mathematics with understanding, they must have opportunities to engage on a regular basis with tasks that focus on reasoning and problem solving, have multiple entry points, and involve varied solution strategies. To solve such tasks, students must be able to understand and apply different tools and representations and move flexibly among them. Therefore, it is important for teachers to select and orchestrate discussions around highlevel tasks that provide opportunities for students to use different representations and apply their reasoning and problemsolving skills (5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions, Margaret Schwan Smith and Mary Kay Stein. Reston, VA: NCTM, 2011).
Stamp out math phobia!
Edited by Tonya Bartell
Tonya Gau Bartell
This article describes teachers' collective work aimed at learning to teach mathematics for social justice. A situated, sociocultural perspective of learning guides this examination of teachers' negotiation of mathematical goals and social justice goals as they developed, implemented, and revised lessons for social justice. Teacher interviews, discussions, lessons, and written reflections were analyzed using grounded theory methodology, and teachers' conversations were examined concerning the relationship between mathematical goals and social justice goals. Analysis revealed that early tensions arose around balancing these goals, that teachers focused more attention on the social justice component, and that the instantiation of these goals in practice proved difficult. Variables that afford or constrain teachers' roles as social justice educators are discussed, and implications for teacher professional development are suggested.
Tonya Gau Bartell
This is one of many practices to support teachers in assessing students’ mathematical thinking and better understanding students’ lived experiences that they can then draw on in mathematics instruction. This article highlights four examples of teachers’ efforts to reimagine homework for K–2 students.
Tonya G. Bartell and Margaret R. Meyer
The publication of Curriculum and Evaluation Standards (NCTM 1989) marked the beginning of a period of significant change in mathematics education. However, that document and many contemporaneous calls for reform lacked a clear focus on equity (Meyer 1989). A decade later, Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM 2000) began to address that shortcoming.
Tonya Bartell, Courtney Koestler, and Mary Q. Foote
The Access, Allies, and Agency in Mathematical Systems project team designed a professional development for mathematics teachers positioning equity at the systemic level and activities aimed at supporting mathematics teachers in considering the influence of privilege and oppression on mathematics teaching and learning (Scroggins, 2017). Here, we examine the levels of oppression activity, aimed at supporting mathematics teachers in understanding that oppression operates at multiple levels (i.e., as a system) and that these levels exist and operate in/on mathematics education. Such understanding can support mathematics teachers in disrupting inequities, and how mathematics teachers engage in this activity can support mathematics teacher educators in preparing teachers to do such work. Specifically, we explore the question: How does this activity support mathematics teachers’ understanding of levels of oppression?
Dan Battey, Tonya Bartell, Corey Webel, and Amanda Lowry
Recent international studies have found that teachers’ attitudes, biased against historically marginalized groups, predict lower student achievement in mathematics (e.g., ). It is not clear, however, if or how teachers’ racial attitudes affect their evaluation of students’ mathematical thinking to produce these effects. Using an experimental design, we conducted an online survey to examine the relationship between preservice teachers’ (PSTs) racial attitudes and their perceptions of students’ mathematical thinking. The survey used comparable videos, with similar mathematics content and student thinking, one including Black students and the other, White students. Findings show that PSTs evaluated Black students’ thinking less favorably compared with White students. Explicit, but not implicit, attitudes, as well as reported time spent in African American communities, were factors in how PSTs rated the quality of students’ mathematical thinking by race.
Tonya Gau Bartell and Thomas P. Carpenter
Reading and Writing the World with Mathematics: Toward a Pedagogy for Social Justice. (2006). Eric Gutstein. New York: Routledge, 272 pp. ISBN 0-415-95084-8 $29.95.
Tonya Bartell, Erin E. Turner, Julia Marie Aguirre, Corey Drake, Mary Q. Foote, and Amy Roth McDuffie
This department publishes brief news articles, announcements, and guest editorials on current mathematics education issues that stimulate the interest of TCM readers and cause them to think about an issue or consider a specific viewpoint about some aspect of mathematics education.
Tonya Bartell, Anita Wager, Ann Edwards, Dan Battey, Mary Foote, and Joi Spencer
The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) do not make any promises about the teaching practices that should be used to support students' enactment of the standards. Thus, equity gets framed as achievable through making the standards a goal for all students. We know from research on past reform efforts that standards without explicit (or companion) teaching practices, and teaching practices without explicit attention to equity, will inevitably result in the failure of the standards to achieve goals for students. This commentary provides a framework for future research that hypothesizes research-based equitable mathematics teaching practices in support of the CCSSM's Standards for Mathematical Practice, connecting research, policy, and practice in order to realize the equity potential of the CCSSM.
Corey Drake, Tonia J. Land, Tonya Gau Bartell, Julia M. Aguirre, Mary Q. Foote, Amy Roth McDuffie, and Erin E. Turner
Make these small adjustments to your syllabus and watch spaces open to connect to children's multiple mathematical knowledge bases.