- Year 2022
- NSF Noyce Award # 1557255
- First Name Cynthia
- Last Name Anhalt
- Discipline Mathematics
Cynthia O. Anhalt, Guadalupe Dominguez, Marina Careaga-Castellanos, University of Arizona
It is critical that we examine ways to help teachers consider issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in teaching and learning mathematics through engagement in critical social issues that can be addressed through mathematics. Analyzing situation through mathematical modeling allows for investigation and solution seeking through mathematics that can lead to broader understanding of both the mathematics and the broader social issues underlying the problem situation.
Guiding questions that inform this study are inquiry-based problem situations that address critical issues that through mathematical modeling which lead to investigations of further related issues. The main research questions addressed in this study are, ‘How do prospective teachers engage with critical social problem situations that can be addressed through mathematical modeling?’ And, ‘How do prospective teachers translate their mathematical modeling experiences into expressing a need for cultivating diversity, equity, and inclusive teaching practices?’
Mathematical modeling was introduced in content and pedagogical courses in the teacher preparation program through inquiry-based problem situations embedded in critical social issues. Prospective teachers engaged in mathematical modeling to address the problem situation, then reflected on the modeling process and the problem situation by contextualizing the results of their models, and then considered the broader social issues connected to the situation.
Key outcomes of this project focus on prospective teachers’ ability to (a) develop competencies in mathematical modeling; (b) understand how modeling is used in solving problem situations embedded in the social sciences; (c) contextualize the results of their models to address critical social situations through mathematics; (d) explore issues of diversity, equity, and inclusions in problem situations that uncover social injustices; and (e) realize the need for integrating mathematical modeling in their future teaching for dual purposes of teaching the process of modeling and exploration of critical social issues.
Broader Impacts include the consideration of mathematical modeling in the mathematical preparation of teachers to better prepare teachers in their personal development of mathematical competency, especially in meaningful ways that include social critical issues that leave lasting impressions so that they in turn teach mathematical modeling in their future K-12 classrooms.