Resisting Marginalization with Culturally Responsive Mathematical Modeling in Elementary Classrooms

Mathematical modeling (MM) - a cyclical process that involves using mathematics to make-sense of and analyze relevant, real-world situations - has the potential to advance equity and challenge spaces of marginalization in the elementary mathematics classroom. When informed by culturally responsive teaching practices, MM creates opportunities to center the knowledge and experiences that students from diverse racial, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds bring to the classroom as valuable resources to support learning and inform action. It can disrupt power and status hierarchies in the classroom that contribute to structural and ideological marginalization. This paper describes ways teachers connected their teaching of MM with key components of a culturally responsive mathematics teaching framework. Analysis synthesizes data from an innovative, research-based professional development for elementary teachers to support teacher learning of equity-centered, culturally responsive MM instruction. Data sources include end of year teacher interviews, and professional development discussions from 19 teachers at four geographically, racially, and culturally diverse sites. Findings focus on how teachers connected their teaching of MM with key dimensions of culturally responsive mathematics teaching, and affordances and challenges related to resisting ideological and structural forms of marginalization.

Turner, E., Aguirre, J., Carlson, M. A., Suh, J., & Fulton, E. (2024). Resisting marginalization with culturally responsive mathematical modeling in elementary classrooms. ZDM – Mathematics Education.