Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Department of Mathematics
Tami S. Martin
In this study, case study methodology was used to explore secondary mathematics preservice teachers (PSTs) attempts to construct tasks for lower income, predominantly African American students at a cultural immersion site who PSTs encountered frequently and interviewed. PST beliefs about their tasks and their students were also investigated. The first research aim of this study was to investigate PSTs’ attempts to create culturally responsive mathematics tasks for themselves and for the students. PSTs incorporated students’ personal and cultural details in tasks for the students. However, they had greater difficulty integrating cultural backdrops into the primary mathematics activities of tasks they created for their students than integrating cultural backdrops into tasks they created for themselves. Additionally, they distorted students’ cultural contexts by filtering student details through their own lenses. The second research aim was to investigate PSTs’ attempts to create critical mathematics tasks for the students, as well as PSTs’ beliefs about the tasks they created. Most PSTs identified a social justice issue in their tasks, but did not require students to question the fairness of the disparate treatment of the disenfranchised. Also, most tasks explicitly related to social class issues. Despite expressing critical consciousness and agency benefits, PSTs believed that their tasks were inappropriate for middle school-aged students because of the tasks’ “uncomfortable” or “controversial” nature. The study’s final aim was to investigate micro-transformations, or shifts, in PSTs’ beliefs about the students. All of the four PSTs chosen for this part of the examination experienced micro-transformations in their beliefs about the students. PSTs with past encounters with lower income or minority students experienced micro-transformations earlier than other PSTs. The study identified a need for professional development that allows PSTs to learn about cultural others and disenfranchised people from culturally different and disenfranchised students, critical educators, and critical friends, and a need for instrument development that assesses PST tasks and determines appropriate support for PSTs in the construction of tasks for culturally different and disenfranchised students.
Trask, Tisa, "Preservice Teachers’ Creation of and Beliefs about Culturally Responsive and Critical Mathematics Tasks, and Their Beliefs about the Students for Whom Their Tasks Were Intended" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 834.