Although considerable literature illustrates how students’ experiences and identities are racialized in mathematics education, little attention has been given to Asian American students. Employing ethnographic methods, this study followed 10 immigrant Chinese-heritage families to explore how the racial narrative of the model minority myth was locally produced in mathematics education. We draw on constructs of racial narratives and cultural production to identify the local production of the narrative Asians are smart and good at math during K–12 schooling. Specifically, the Asian American students (re)produced racial narratives related to three cultural resources: (a) Their immigrant parents’ narratives about the U.S. elementary school mathematics curriculum; (b) the school mathematics student tracking system; and (c) students’ locally generated racial narratives about what being Asian means.
Shelley Yijung Wu and Dan Battey
Dan Battey, Rebecca A. Neal, and Jessica Hunsdon
How we handle classroom relationships between teachers and students plays an important role in how all students experience mathematics.
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.
Victoria R. Jacobs, Megan Loef Franke, Thomas P. Carpenter, Linda Levi, and Dan Battey
A yearlong experimental study showed positive effects of a professional development project that involved 19 urban elementary schools, 180 teachers, and 3735 students from one of the lowest performing school districts in California. Algebraic reasoning as generalized arithmetic and the study of relations was used as the centerpiece for work with teachers in Grades 1–5. Participating teachers generated a wider variety of student strategies, including more strategies that reflected the use of relational thinking, than did nonparticipating teachers. Students in participating classes showed significantly better understanding of the equal sign and used significantly more strategies reflecting relational thinking during interviews than did students in classes of nonparticipating teachers.
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.