Strengthening Educators’ Practices for Engaging and Empowering Students with Disabilities and Difficulties as Mathematics Learners

Event Date
Event Description



  • Amy Brodesky, Education Development Center
  • Jessica Hunt, North Carolina State University
  • Judy Storeygard, TERC

Three DRK-12 projects shared key components, successes, and challenges of asset-based PD in mathematics.  The presentation focused on the pressing question: What are ways to support educators in providing high-quality, inclusive instruction that empowers students with disabilities/difficulties as mathematics thinkers and doers?

Students with disabilities and difficulties experience pervasive challenges in mathematics and exit the STEM pipeline early in their lives, significantly narrowing their future academic and career options. As a result, the potential contributions these individuals bring to mathematics and to STEM fields more generally may never be recovered. Addressing this issue requires that educators move from a deficit-model of disabilities to asset-based approaches that engage and empower students in learning significant mathematics. 

To support educators in building these approaches, knowledge, and beliefs, our projects have created equity-focused professional development programs for different audiences (general educators, mathematics teachers, special educators, and paraeducators) and grade levels. In this session, we will discuss rich examples of our work, cross-cutting themes across projects, and take-away applications.