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Cultivating Mathematical Hearts

Cultivating Mathematical Hearts
Culturally Responsive Mathematics Teaching in Elementary Classrooms

October 2023 | 248 pages | Corwin

Help students see their whole selves in the math they're learning with culturally responsive teaching.

Cultivating Mathematical Hearts: Culturally Responsive Mathematics Teaching in Elementary Classrooms, aims to re-center mathematics as a humanizing endeavor because putting children and their humanity at the heart of mathematics education can result in more engaged, meaningful, and joyful learning.

This book introduces a model and a tool for Culturally Responsive Mathematics Teaching, constructed to create a safe, inclusive space where all learners can come together in their own educational journey and develop a love for math that centers their experiences and comes from the heart. Implementing the Culturally Responsive Mathematics Teaching Tool (CRMT2) will help you cultivate and sustain meaningful, rich, and rigorous mathematical learning spaces for all your students–experiences that foster mathematical curiosity and joy. The book walks you through each aspect of the framework and tool, guiding you to consider how your classroom structures, lessons, tasks, and assessments:

  • Honor the existing cultural strengths, experiences, and lived realities of all your students
  • Elicit diverse mathematical thinking and ideas
  • Support equitable access to rigorous mathematical learning and discourse for all students
  • Invite a sense of agency in each student’s learning experience
  • Promote high engagement and excitement while learning mathematics
  • Nurture an understanding that mathematics is a powerful tool for making sense of the world

By weaving these strategies into classroom lessons, teachers can humanize mathematics instruction to successfully build a love for math while providing equitable learning opportunities that empower student voice and promote success in mathematics.

About the Authors
Part 1: Foundations and Framework of Culturally Responsive Mathematics Teaching
Chapter 1: Culturally Responsive Mathematics Teaching: Purpose and Principles
Chapter 2: Unpacking Culturally Responsive Mathematics Teaching: Retooling Your Pedagogy
Chapter 3: Knowledges and Identities
Chapter 4: Rigor and Support
Chapter 5: Power and Participation
Part 2: Culturally Responsive Math Teaching in Elementary Classrooms
Chapter 6: Using CRMT to Adapt a First Grade District-Created Lesson By Holly Tate and Olivia Canning
Chapter 7: Using CRMT to Transform a Fourth-Grade Mathematics Classroom Over Time By Holly Tate and Kaitlin Kaplewicz
Chapter 8: Corazones Matemáticas: CRMT in Bilingual Classrooms By Melissa Adams Corral
Chapter 9: CRMT in Special Education Spaces By Talya Kemper and Maria del Rosario Zavala
Appendix: The Culturally Responsive Mathematics Teaching Tool (CRMT2)

Zavala and Aguirre should be commended for their take on what it means to be a culturally responsive mathematics teacher. This book positions mathematics teachers as identity workers. The vignettes and teaching stories bring the Culturally Responsive Mathematics Teaching Tool to life. Zavala and Aguirre graciously share their thoughts about how to implement this framework in a variety of settings, including elementary, special education, and multilingual contexts.

Pam Seda and Kyndall Brown
Los Angeles, CA

Joyful, humanizing, rich mathematics teaching and learning come alive in this book. Zavala and Aguirre share a compelling framework for culturally responsive mathematics teaching that will fuel your imagination and motivate you to grow your teaching in new ways. With this book, you and your colleagues will have the power to transform your students’ mathematics experiences.

Elham Kazemi
University of Washington
Seattle, WA

Written in flowing narrative and interspersed with the voices of students and teachers, this book is a must-read for math educators committed to
equity using culturally responsive mathematics instruction. The planning tool for Culturally Responsive Mathematics Teaching supports every step of instructional design of math to reach and teach each and every child in our mathematics classrooms.

Tonya Bartell
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI

Cultivating Mathematical Hearts is a love letter to children, families, communities, and teachers. Both practical and inspirational, this book offers the
perfect blueprint with the rationale, practices, lesson design tools, and classroom examples to ensure culturally responsive mathematics teaching is
available for all. Thank you to the authors for sharing your heart work— your vision, expertise, and radical hope!

Cathery Yeh
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX

The authors of Cultivating Mathematical Hearts skillfully escort us on a journey in which they define, unpack, and offer profound examples of
Culturally Responsive Mathematics Teaching. This book is complex, practical, and personal. New and experienced educators are guaranteed to recommit to centering love, joy, curiosity, humanity, and community in mathematics teaching. The authors end with a powerful yet empathetic call to action. This book is essential on our collective journeys to liberation.

Marrielle Myers
Kennesaw State University
Atlanta, GA

This book is inspiring and essential reading for everyone who advocates for children and wants them to thrive! The Culturally Responsive Mathematics Teaching Tool will guide teachers, teacher educators, and administrators who want to pursue meaningful and humane mathematics teaching. The stories, instructional examples, and activities will promote thoughtful reflections and discussions as well as unify efforts in schools, districts, and communities to facilitate engagement, joy, hope, and justice.

Kathryn Chval
University of Illinois Chicago
Chicago, IL

No matter what stage we are in in our understanding of Culturally Responsive Mathematics Teaching, the authors brilliantly guide us on how to transform our classrooms by acknowledging, taking action, and holding ourselves accountable. We have the power to retool pedagogy that centers the students’, families’, and communities’ conocimientos (knowledge) and ways of doing mathematics. Exemplary cases from the field are included to illustrate how this work is done del corazón (from the heart).

Sylvia Celedón-Pattichis
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX

Maria del Rosario Zavala

Maria del Rosario Zavala is an American-born daughter of Peruvian immigrants, a mother, and an Associate Professor of Elementary Education at San Francisco State University. She studied mathematics at the University of California, Santa Cruz almost(!) became a high school math teacher, before working in elementary education. Across her 20+ career in education, she has worked in classrooms across the K-12 spectrum, and supported teachers’ professional learning in a variety of contexts. During her PhD in Education with a focus on Learning Sciences at the University of Washington, she became interested in ethnomathematics and social justice... More About Author

Julia Maria Aguirre

Julia Maria Aguirre is a biracial Chicana activist math education scholar and teacher educator. Her parents were educators and activists integrating faith, community, and justice growing up. Dr. Aguirre is a Professor of Education at the University of Washington Tacoma. Her work focuses on critical equity studies in mathematics education, teacher education, and culturally responsive mathematics pedagogy. She has taught mathematics in formal and informal classroom settings. A primary goal of her work is preparing new generations of teachers to make mathematics education accessible, meaningful and relevant to today’s youth. Dr. Aguirre... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781071850107