Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A case study of four Latina/o pre-service teachers in learning to teach mathematics for understanding and integrate a child's out-of-school mathematical knowledge and experiences
by Kalinec-Craig, Crystal, Ph.D., The University of Arizona, 2012, 230; 3510038
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation study examines the experiences of four Latina/o pre-service teachers (PSTs) as they learn about teaching mathematics for understanding (TM4U) and integrating a child's out-of-school mathematical knowledge and experiences during instruction. Studying the knowledge and experiences of Latina/o PSTs is necessary because PSTs from minoritized backgrounds have particular insights about teaching diverse students that can inform the learning experiences of other PSTs. This study investigates the prior experiences and beliefs about mathematics instruction the Latina/o PSTs (and those from minoritized backgrounds) bring as they begin their mathematics methods semester and how they leverage their experiences as they learn to teach mathematics to diverse students.

Teaching mathematics for understanding is one way that teachers can support children's understanding of mathematics (Kilpatrick et al 2001). Teachers who integrate children's out-of-school mathematical knowledge and experiences in their practice draws upon multiple existing frameworks—the basic premise being that children come to school with mathematical knowledge and experiences that helps them learn mathematics in school (Gonzalez, Andrade, Civil, & Moll, 2001; Greer, Mukhopadhyay, Powell, & Nelson-Barber, 2009). My study looks at the experiences of Latina/o PSTs as they learn to help children leverage their out-of-school knowledge and experiences to understand mathematics.

Data sources included four individual interviews, relevant methods assignments and audio transcripts from methods course discussions, and observational notes from the PSTs' field experience classrooms. The study found that PSTs leveraged their prior experiences as English Language Learners to support linguistically diverse children learn mathematics. Based on their prior experiences, some of the PSTs were more sensitive to the needs of marginalized children learning mathematics. The study found that the PSTs leveraged their experiences as diverse learners to think about the ways teachers could connect in-school mathematics to children's out-of-school mathematical knowledge and experiences. Yet the findings suggest that PSTs still need more experience articulating how exactly children's out-of-school experiences can help children understand mathematics. Implications of this study speak to how the beliefs and prior experiences of PSTs from minoritized backgrounds can inform how future teachers are prepared to teach mathematics to diverse students.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Turner, Erin E.
Commitee: Civil, Marta, Doyle, Walter, Wood, Marcy B.
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Teaching & Teacher Education
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 73/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mathematics education, Multicultural Education, Teacher education, Hispanic American studies
Keywords: Diverse children, Latina/o, Mathematics teacher education, Out-of-school knowledge and experiences, Preservice teachers, Teaching mathematics for understanding
Publication Number: 3510038
ISBN: 9781267371232
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