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Engaging in Culturally Relevant Math Tasks

Engaging in Culturally Relevant Math Tasks
Fostering Hope in the Middle and High School Classroom

December 2022 | 192 pages | Corwin

Empower your students as they reimagine the world around them through mathematics

Culturally relevant mathematics teaching engages students by helping them learn and understand math more deeply, and make connections to themselves, their communities, and the world around them. The mathematics task provides opportunities for a direct pathway to this goal. But many teachers ask, how can you find, adapt, and implement math tasks that build powerful learners?

Engaging in Culturally Relevant Math Tasks helps teachers to design and refine inspiring mathematics learning experiences driven by the kind of high-quality and culturally relevant mathematics tasks that connect students to their world. With the goal of inspiring all students to see themselves as doers of mathematics, this book provides intensive, in-the-moment guidance and practical classroom tools that empower educators to shape culturally relevant experiences while systematically building tasks that are standards-based. It includes

  • A pathway for moving through the process of asking, imagining, planning, creating, and improving culturally relevant math tasks.
  • Tools and strategies for designing culturally relevant math tasks that preservice, novice, and veteran teachers can use to grow their practice day by day.
  • Research-based teaching practices seen through the lens of culturally relevant instruction that help students develop deep conceptual understanding, procedural knowledge, fluency, and application in 6-12 mathematical content.

Examples, milestones, opportunities for reflection, and discussion questions guide educators to strengthen their classroom practices, and to reimagine math instruction in response. This book is for any educator who wants to teach mathematics in a more authentic, inclusive, and meaningful way, and it is especially beneficial for teachers whose students are culturally different from them.

Part I: Building a Foundation for Culturally Relevant Mathematics Teaching
Chapter 1: What is Culturally Relevant Mathematics Teaching
Chapter 2: Imagining Culturally Relevant Teaching through Mathematics Practices and Tasks
Chapter 3: Creating and Assessing Culturally Relevant Mathematics Tasks
PART II: Practical Approaches for Planning and Creating Culturally Relevant Mathematics Tasks
Chapter 4: Planning with Intention and Hope
Chapter 5: Creating Contexts for Cultural Inquiry
Chapter 6: Creating Contexts for Empathy, Agency, and Action
PART III: Refining Our Notions and Experiences
Chapter 7: The Journey—Improving Culturally Relevant Mathematics Teaching
Chapter 8: The Flow—Implementing and Refining Culturally Relevant Tasks, Lessons, and Units
Chapter 9: Continuing the Journey

The book is a great resource and provides a deep dive into culturally responsive and relevant mathematics practices. It includes rich examples
and tasks that can be used during instruction, professional development, and research initiatives in mathematics education that seek to embrace
culture and emphasize the relevance of mathematics in our everyday lives. Notably, the culturally relevant mathematics task-building framework
provides clear guidance for creating cognitively demanding tasks that draw on the knowledge and experiences of individuals’ communities and
empower them to address existing inequities.

Ruthmae Sears
University of South Florida
Tampa, FL

This phenomenal book provides practical approaches to analyze, identify, and create culturally relevant mathematics tasks that help secondary
mathematics teachers create opportunities to connect to students’ lived experiences.

Lateefah Id-Deen
Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw, GA

Thank you, Matthews, Jones, and Parker, for the secondary version of Engaging in Culturally Relevant Math Tasks. You provide secondary teachers
with the tools to deepen their understanding of culturally relevant pedagogy for the classroom. Our students need it!

John Staley
Baltimore County Public Schools
Randallstown, MD

The authors of Engaging in Culturally Relevant Math Tasks have provided a well-needed modern vision of what mathematics teaching and learning
at the secondary level should look like in the 21st century. Teachers who read this book will be given the tools to begin developing rich, engaging,
meaningful mathematics experiences that foster joy and creativity for their students while empowering students and teachers as change agents.

Robin Wilson
Loyola Marymount University
Los Angeles, CA

In this much-needed work, Matthews, Jones, and Parker build seamlessly on their prior volume for Grade K–5 teachers. The authors provide practical
guidance to support teachers in finding, adapting, or creating tasks with challenging contexts that help develop students’ hope, empathy, and
agency. This is an invaluable resource for teachers who want to center students’ voices and lived experiences.

Tami S. Martin
Illinois State University
Normal, IL

For those who fear that culturally relevant math can be misconstrued as formulaic tricks or bombastic rhetoric, this book lives up to the title’s
promise of fostering hope. Readers will find a wealth of frameworks for reaching students where they are at, for illuminating the cultural
landscapes that escape our notice, and for inspiring students to see how mathematical ways of knowing and social motivations for inquiry can be
united with rigor, compassion, and scholarly excellence.

Ron Eglash
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI

The authors remind us that quality math tasks are not solely defined by their level of cognitive demand but must also give deliberate attention
to inquiring about and centering the cultural brilliance and wisdom of students and their communities. This book is a must-read for middle and high school math teachers.

Tonya Gau Bartell
Michigan State University
Pleasant Lake, MI

What a wonderful resource full of concrete, actionable strategies for creating more inclusive, culturally responsive mathematics classrooms. The authors offer not only a multitude of rich task examples that are classroom tested, but they also provide guidance for designing mathematically meaningful tasks that are relevant for the students and communities you serve. At the heart of their work is a deep respect for students’ identities and abilities and for the work of teachers committed to a more just, equitable, and hopeful approach to mathematics education.

Mark Ellis
CSU Fullerton
Fullerton, CA

Lou E. Matthews

Dr. Lou Edward Mathews is a global mathematics creative and founder of InspireMath committed to building inspiring, sustainable mathematics platforms and culturally relevant education experiences in communities around the world. As Director of Mathematics and Science at Urban Teachers, a national teacher residency program with Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Lou supports the recruitment, coaching and deployment of culturally competent mathematics teachers in Baltimore, Washington DC and Dallas.   In response to the global crisis of racial injustice and COVID19 pandemic, Dr. Lou created Pi Before Dinner, a virtual space and media... More About Author

Shelly M. Jones

Dr. Shelly M. Jones is a Professor of Mathematics Education at Central Connecticut State University. She teaches undergraduate mathematics content and methods courses for pre-service teachers as well as graduate level mathematics content, curriculum and STEM courses for in-service teachers. Before joining the CCSU faculty, Dr. Jones was a middle school Mathematics Teacher and a K-12 Mathematics Administrator.  She provides mathematics professional development nationally and internationally.  She has been an educator for 30 years.  Dr. Jones serves her community by working with various professional and community organizations... More About Author

Yolanda A. Parker

Dr. Yolanda A. Parker has been an educator for over 25 years and has been full-time faculty at Tarrant County College-South Campus for over 10 years in the Mathematics Department where she primarily teaches Statistics and Math for Teachers courses. She has a B.S. in Applied Math from Texas A&M University in College Station, TX; M.A. in Liberal Studies from Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH; and Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from Illinois State University in Normal, IL. She was honored as one of the 2017 “Hidden Figures of Dallas: Top Women of Color in S.T.E.M.” by the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Dallas/Fort Worth... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781071841785