Mathematics and Teaching: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Mathematics and Teaching

1st Edition

By Michele D. Crockett


124 pages

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pub: 2008-05-15
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Mathematics and Teaching uses case studies to explore complex and pervasive issues that arise in teaching. In this volume, school mathematics is the context in which to consider race, equity, political contexts and the broader social and cultural circumstances in which schooling occurs. This book does not provide immediate or definitive resolutions. Rather, its goal is to provoke and facilitate thoughtful discussion about critical issues for professional decision-making in mathematics teaching.

This is the 7th volume in Reflective Teaching and the Social Conditions of Schooling: A Series for Prospective and Practicing Teachers, edited by Daniel P. Liston and Kenneth M. Zeichner. It follows the same format as previous volumes in the series.

  • Part I includes four case studies of classroom experiences: "Race and Teacher Expectations"; "Mathematics for All?"; "Culture and School Mathematics"; and "Politics and School Mathematics." Each case is followed by a space for readers’ own reactions and reflections, school stakeholders’ reactions, and a summary with additional questions for further discussion.
  • Part II presents three public arguments representing different views about the issues that arise in mathematics teaching: conservative, liberal and radical multiculturalist.
  • Part III offers the authors’ reflections on the centrality of culture in teaching mathematics, resources and exercises for further reflection, and a bibliography for further reading.

Mathematics and Teaching is pertinent for all prospective and practicing teachers at any stage in their teaching careers. It is appropriate for any undergraduate and graduate course addressing mathematics teaching issues.


"The book uses case stories and reactions to those stories to explore various dimensions of the relationships among mathematics, schools, and culture…I can imagine using the cases and political arguments presented in Mathematics and Teaching with a number of audiences…The book itself includes reactions from parents, grandparents, school board members, administrators, and other professionals associated with K–12 schooling.These audiences are not listed explicitly as intended audiences in the series title, but it seems to me that the author did a very powerful thing by having discussions with such people about the cases and including their comments in the reactions sections. These groups can be influential in decision-making processes and are critical in the support structure for teachers who are trying to be maximally effective for all students."--Teri J. Murphy, MAA Reviews (2009)

Table of Contents

Selected Contents:

Table of Contents

Series Preface iii

Preface iv

Acknowledgments x

Introduction 1


Introduction to Case 1 12

Case 1: "Race and Teacher Expectations" 13

Reader Reactions to "Race and Teacher Expectations" 19

Reactions to "Race and Teacher Expectation 20

Summary and Additional Questions 34

Introduction to Case 2 35

Case 2: "Mathematics for All?" 36

Reader Reactions to "Mathematics for All?" 42

Reactions to "Mathematics for All?" 43

Summary and Additional Questions 55

Introduction to Case 3 57

Case 3: "Culture and School Mathematics" 59

Reader Reactions to "Culture and School Mathematics" 64

Reactions to "Culture and School Mathematics" 65

Summary and Additional Questions 76

Introduction to Case 4 79

Case 4: "Politics and School Mathematics" 81

Reader Reactions to "Politics and School Mathematics" 87

Reactions to "Politics and School Mathematics" 88

Summary and Additional Questions 104

Reader Reactions to the Four Cases 107

Reactions to the Four Cases 108

Part II. Public Arguments 119

A "Conservative View": Mathematics for Global Economic Leadership 122

Comments and Questions 135

A "Liberal View": Equality of Opportunity and School Mathematics in a Democracy 138

Comments and Questions 147

A "Radical Multiculturalist View": Mathematics for Developing Critical Dispositions for Social Reconstruction 150

Comments and Questions 164

Part III. Concluding Remarks, Some Reflections, and Resources for Further Reflections

About the Author

Michele D. Crockett is an assistant professor in the Mathematics, Science and Technology division, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign She is a Spencer/National Academy of Education Postdoctoral Fellowship recipient. Her research interests focus on professional development in mathematics education and school reform.

About the Series

Reflective Teaching and the Social Conditions of Schooling Series

A Series for Prospective and Practicing Teachers

This series of small, accessible, interactive texts introduces the notion of teacher reflection and develops it in relation to the social conditions of schooling. The aim is to provide practicing and prospective teachers with ways to examine contextual issues of schooling and to articulate their ideas, beliefs, theories, expectations, assumptions, and feelings about those issues, and to facilitate reflection about teaching situations they face and decisions they must make on an ongoing basis. Each text focuses on a specific issue or content area in relation to teaching and follows the same format: Part I offers several case studies dealing with different aspects of book’s topic, each followed by space for readers to write their own reactions and reflections, educators’ dialogue about the case, space for readers’ reactions to the educators’ dialogue, and a summary and additional questions. Part II presents public arguments representing different views about the topic. Part III offers the authors’ personal views on some of the issues addressed, exercises for further reflection, and a list of resources. Books in this series are appropriate for teacher education courses across the curriculum.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Multicultural Education
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Mathematics