When Critical Multiculturalism Meets Mathematics: A Mixed Methods Study of Professional Development and Teacher Identity

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9781475808490: When Critical Multiculturalism Meets Mathematics: A Mixed Methods Study of Professional Development and Teacher Identity
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When Critical Multiculturalism Meets Mathematics details the development and outcomes of a teacher professional development project that merged multiculturalism and mathematics. In six compact chapters the authors describe the impetus for their multi-year project and present rich case studies of nine teacher participants. The cases stand alone as compelling reading, yet Marshall et al. extend beyond their distinctiveness to explain the statistical data related to the project’s broader impact. Emphasizing both qualitative and quantitative findings makes this book ideal for novice researchers interested in mixed method study. Likewise, the authors unveil the anatomy and a few complexities of conducting research in the real world contexts of schools including participant recruitment and resolution of unanticipated matters that can arise within research teams. A unique twist in the final chapter is Marshall et al.’s critique of their own missteps as researchers, which are used skillfully and unobtrusively to proffer tips for future studies. They conclude by theorizing affirmed intersectionality, identified as the critical element that facilitated teachers’ recognition and acceptance of the compatibility between the study’s two components.

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About the Author:

Dr. Patricia L. Marshall is a Professor of Multicultural Studies in the Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences at NC State University. She is interested in the impact of elements of culture including race, class, language on the teaching-learning process and the acquisition of cross-cultural competency.

Dr. Jessica T. DeCuir-Gunby is an associate professor of Educational Psychology and University Faculty Scholar in the Department of Teacher Education & Learning Sciences at NC State University. Her research interests include race and racial identity development, critical race theory, mixed methods research, and emotions in education.

Dr. Allison W. McCulloch is an Associate Professor of Mathematics Education in the Department of STEM Education at NC State University. Her research focuses on the role of culture and affect in mathematics teaching and learning.

Review:

culturally insensitive and irrelevant math pedagogy, and evidence supporting the premise that teachers matter, the authors/researchers embarked on a multiyear, multifaceted study called ‘Nurturing Mathematics Dreamkeepers.’ As reported, the study focused on how teachers can apply culturally relevant pedagogy in grades K–2 while incorporating high-quality content based on the standards established by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The authors address the parts of their multifaceted, ambitious research project, including the structure of the staff development component, case studies of nine participants, data collection protocols, and a description of the setting. The honest, engaging reflections of the nine teachers representing the larger group recall the frustrations, struggles, challenges, and achievements in enhancing content knowledge in mathematics and skills and disposition in merging culturally relevant pedagogy and standards-based mathematics, thus creating effective, optimal learning environments for academic success in mathematics for young students. According to the researchers, the merger is liberating. Appendices and references complement this seminal study of the intersection of culturally relevant pedagogy and standards-based mathematics teaching and learning.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers; upper-division undergraduates through researchers and practitioners. (CHOICE)

Although this book describes a program for K–grade 2 teachers, MT readers will find it of interest. The professional development program combines mathematics content expertise with a professional identity focusing on the cultural dimensions of teaching and learning mathematics.... This is a good read for those who are interested in teacher education and multicultural mathematics education. The takeaway is that multicultural mathematics education is interesting, feasible, and worth the effort it takes. (Mathematics Teacher)

An outstanding contribution is this illuminating three-year mixed methods study that erases the false barrier between multiculturalism and mathematics. Employing culturally relevant teaching practices in seven schools in an urban district the study reports on elementary teachers’ growth in mathematics content knowledge and changes in their dispositions toward the impact of culture on the teaching-learning process in general, and mathematics instruction in particular. (Carl A. Grant, author of “The Moment: Brack Obama, Jeremiah Wright and the Firestorm and Trinity United Church of Christ” (2013) (with Shelby Grant) and Editor of “Intersectionality and Urban Education” (2014) (with Elisabeth Zwier), Hoefs-Bascom Professor, University Wisconsin-Madison)

Kudos to Marshall, DeCuir-Gunby, and McCulloch for this much-needed book! When Critical Multiculturalism Meets Mathematics offers a compelling, data-based, and highly readable window into the diverse and sometimes unpredictable professional learning paths of elementary teachers as they grapple with intersections of culture and teaching math. The authors show clearly that multicultural education does improve their teaching, and that their students’ mathematical knowledge grows as a result. (Christine Sleeter, professor emerita, California State University, Monterey Bay)

This is a wonderful and timely book. Starting with a prompt that asks, “How do we know whether or not this multicultural education stuff actually works?”, the authors use data from a multi-year professional development project to document not only the necessity and impact of multicultural education in mathematics teaching but also the conditions that can help it make work. This book affirms the importance of teachers, especially early grades teachers, reflecting deeply what they teach and how to teach but also the importance of whom they teach. The authors move us beyond “how do we know it works?” to “why we must make it work. (Danny Bernard Martin, professor, education and mathematics, University of Illinois at Chicago)

This book provides a refreshing and revealing account of the time-consuming and arduous work of conducting teacher professional development within the complex schooling environment while simultaneously studying teacher learning. Guiding teachers through transforming their instruction in any way is challenging, however supporting teachers in foregrounding who they teach as the fundamental consideration in what and how they teach was a particularly ambitious undertaking. The chapters in this book allow the reader to understand the thoughtful ways in which the researchers and professional developers designed the project to maximize teacher change and positive student outcomes. Definitely an informative read not only for researchers and educators interested in meaningful ways to integrate culture and mathematics but for those involved in teacher education and development broadly defined. (Dionne Cross Francis, PhD, associate professor, mathematics education, Indiana University)

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Book Description Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Condition: New. When Critical Multiculturalism Meets Mathematics details the development and outcomes of a teacher professional development project that merged multiculturalism and mathematics. In six compact chapters the authors describe the impetus for their multi-year project and present rich case studies of nine teacher participants. Num Pages: 160 pages. BIC Classification: JNFR; JNU; YQM. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational. Dimension: 229 x 152. . . 2015. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Seller Inventory # V9781475808490

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