>... As I indicated, I am working on a cultural model for mathematics >instruction--it is incomplete. The model involves changes in teacher >attitudes, pedagogy, and curriculum, as do most instructional models. >But this also includes how teachers can help students become more >responsible. The model includes cultural congruent mode of instruction, >culturally relevant pedagogy, and culturally liberating curriculum. The >mode of instruction allows us to enter the world view of the child, the >relevance gives students the ability to question, and the liberation or >emancipation gives students the ability to be life time learners. As you >can see this model is not indigenous to mathematics learning. Any >subject can be taught using this model. Lisa Delpit describes how >research as used a similar model in the third article of her recent book, >"Teaching Other People's Children." > >I presented a preliminary paper on this topic at NCSM in San Diego called >Issues of Culture. As soon as it is ready, I will share it with this >listserve. > >About your questions: ... > >I'm not sure we are talking about the same context. You are asking me >to address statements (beliefs???) about who should do mathematics and >how they should do it. I'm talking about including all of our students >in the mathematics community. I am talking about allowing students to >find joy in learning mathematics rather than rejection and pain that >many experience. We have to find the correct door, albeit by way of >culture, style or some other factor, to help every student learn >mathematics without making the mathematics trivial. I am talking about >changing our pedagogy. Your questions are asking me to respond to >existing beliefs, norms, and the resulting attitudes. > > >Carol E. Malloy >UNC-Chapel Hill >919-962-6607 >firstname.lastname@example.org >
I think you are correct; the focus of our interests may not be identical. However, there is enough similarity that we may benefit from each other. Am I correct in describing your interest as developing classroom social norms that support the inclusion of all students in the mathematics community?
I think we share a belief in (a) the importance of understanding the world view of students, (b) extending the views and experiences of students to where we think they should be, and (c) the great difficulty teachers can expect when they try to impose their views on children.
We appear to differ on the connection between beliefs and culture. I consider the beliefs of students as (a) developed and supported in social interactions and (b) part of the world view of students. When taking into account a students' culture when planning instructional activities, I am interested in students' beliefs about who should do mathematics and how they should do it.
The dilemma I have is resolving a conflict between the two statements "Who are we to judge?" and teachers are to "help the students extend their views and experiences to where we think they should be." In order for a teacher to extend the view of students to where the teacher thinks they should be requires the teacher to judge. This judging often is in conflict with the beliefs of peers, students, parents, or organizations about who should do mathematics and how they should do it.
When developing classroom social norms that support the inclusion of all students in the mathematics community, the development of life long learners, or the development of responsible students; teachers must address students' beliefs about who should do mathematics and how they should do it (e.g., students should not question authority, students are to listen, teachers are to talk, math is important if it is related to a job, girls do not have to learn mathematics).
Todd Johnson | Illinois State University e-mail: email@example.com | Mathematics Department phone: 309-438-7656 | 4520 Math office: 317 STV | Normal, IL 61790-4520