Prospective Teachers Learning to Connect to Multiple Mathematical Knowledge Bases Across Multiple Contexts

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A critical component of being an effective and equity-oriented mathematics teacher for children from diverse racial, ethnic, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds is developing understandings and practices that support building on the strengths and resources that children bring to the mathematics classroom. Specifically, teachers need to learn to connect to children's multiple mathematical knowledge bases which include children's mathematical thinking (problem solving strategies and mathematical understandings) and children's funds of knowledge (the cultural and linguistic knowledge, skills, and practices found in children's homes and communities), as these connections enhance learning and achievement. This is particularly important for children from minoritized communities, whose cultural and linguistic practices and ways of knowing and being are often marginalized and undervalued in schools. In this chapter, we advance a framework for mathematics teacher education that privileges multiple contexts for learning to connect to children's multiple mathematical knowledge bases. We highlight how teacher preparation experiences across multiple contexts draw into focus features of mathematics teaching and learning that are not often emphasized or foregrounded (i.e., connections to culture and community, or home and family practices). Each section of the chapter describes a specific context for prospective teachers learning (i.e., university coursework, classrooms, and interactions with children, families, and communities), and synthesizes across research studies from the United States and international contexts. We close the chapter with a discussion of the complexities and affordances of working with multiple participants across multiple contexts in mathematics teacher preparation.

Publication Title

International Handbook of Mathematics Teacher Education: Volume 3

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