The Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators recently invited me to join the Equity Committee. I am very excited to announce that I agreed, and am honored to be able to contribute to this organization that is so central to most of my work with pre-service teachers. As part of the deal, I was asked to share my top 5 resources for Mathematics Teacher Educators (MTEs) who want to know more about social justice and equity in mathematics.
Top 5? But that’s so few!
Anyways, I sat down and based my list off of what I use most when I’m teaching math methods. And because I sent it off into cyberspace moments ago, I may make changes here that don’t appear on that list.
1) Teachers Empowered to Advance Change in Mathematics: Modules for Mathematics Teacher Education
The website contains 4 carefully curated, research-based modules specifically for use in K-8 mathematics methods courses. Each module builds pre-service teacher knowledge on how to draw on “students’ multiple mathematics knowledge bases”, a concept that is rooted in funds of knowledge and culturally responsive teaching. Each module also contains information to guide the MTE in how to set up and implement the tasks.
If you do not know about TODOS, you are missing out big time on a group of people and resources dedicated to realizing a vision of equitable instruction in mathematics for all students.
3) Research Journals that Make it their Business to Increase the Visibility of Mathematics Equity and Social Justice: The Journal of Urban Mathematics Education and Teaching for Excellence and Equity in Mathematics (A research journal from TODOS: Mathematics for ALL)
Both of these journals are dedicated to rigorous mathematics education research at the forefront of equity and social justice, and are freely available online.
The Journal of Urban Mathematics Education states, “The mission of the journal is to foster a transformative global academic space in mathematics that embraces critical research, emancipatory pedagogy, and scholarship of engagement in urban communities. Here, the view of the urban domain extends beyond the geographical context, into the lives of people within the multitude of cultural, social, and political spaces in which mathematics teaching and learning takes place.” Both the original research and commentary sections are resources for readings for MTEs as well as their PSTs. In particular, frequently I have PSTs read and respond to Rochelle Gutierrez’ 2013 commentary, Why (Urban) Mathematics Teachers Need Political Knowledge.
As stated on the Teaching for Excellence and Equity in Mathematics homepage, “The journal aims especially to engage mathematics education topics involving excellence and equity simultaneously (rather than either in isolation) in a way that connects research to classroom practice and can directly inform the practice of teachers or professional developers.” Many research articles also have questions for reflection, which is very useful for engaging PSTs.
4) The Equity and Access PreK-12 series from NCTM.org
Because it’s organized into 4 grade level band books, MTEs can focus on the bands applicable to their level (in my case, Prek-2 and 3-5). The chapters featured in this series are all focused on the NCTM Equity principle, however the newness of the research means that many chapters also push the boundaries of how we think about equity in new ways, including attention to intersectional analyses. A great resource for MTEs and their PSTs alike.
4.5) Also, the 2018 Annual Perspectives in Mathematics Education which Rochelle Gutierrez and Imani Goffman edited. Whether novice or advanced in thinking about equity in mathematics, a REHUMANIZING approach is going to give you new insight into power and privilege in the math classroom.
5) The book Rethinking Mathematics, 2nd Ed. in particular, and the Rethinking Schools Publishers in general
Still the best collection of chapters dedicated to social justice in the mathematics classroom. In addition to providing an introduction that frames what is meant by teaching for social justice, there is a chapter by a new teacher that illustrates her journey in developing socially just mathematics lessons, chapters geared towards elementary teachers as well as middle and high school. There are plenty of activity suggestions and lesson ideas.
And set your calendars for January 2019, when Rethinking Ethnic Studies is set to drop. Mathematics and ethnic studies is a powerful combination, and we have to get on that train.
6) Social Media
I know, social media is evil. BUT if you’re linked in to all your awesome colegas and gente from both the math ed and other than math ed world, you get some awesome resources in your feeds on the daily. Twitter and Facebook have been great resources for me to capture news and other information that is pertinent to my understanding of how mathematics, power, and participation all come together in the real world, as well as create records for myself to utilize resources from the web (articles, websites, online games, etc.) in my classroom with students. For example, when a friend posted this new map showing hotspots of student homelessness in California, or this link to infographics on how race has material consequences, I posted them to my private group to use later to make lessons for my methods class. For me, it can be as simple as keeping the record so that when I start class on any given week I can share an example of how mathematical analyses help us better understand and ask new questions about race, socioeconomics, etc.
What are your top resources, especially for planning to engage issues of social and racial justice in mathematics methods courses? Where do you go to deepen your OWN knowledge of issues that inform mathematics teacher education?