Community Exploration Module
Summary of Module
This module consists of three activities: A community walk, the development of a mathematics lesson, and a final write up and reflection. prospective teachers typically work in pairs or small groups on the activities in this module. There are different versions of activities and several additional options included in this module.
Goals for Prospective Teachers
- increase knowledge of students’ out of school activities and practices, including the activities students engage in after school, and students’ perspectives on their own communities (what community locations are familiar to students, etc).
- engage in students’ communities by visiting community locations, and as much as possible, dialoguing with children, families and community members about their home and community-based activity.
- increase knowledge and familiarity with students’ communities, particularly of activities and practices that might relate to mathematics instruction, and in doing so, challenge deficit-based or stereotypical assumptions about students’ communities. Prospective teachers will begin to see children as members of communities, and see communities as including home and family based activity, as well as broader community relationships, contexts and activities.
- broaden their perspectives and understandings of students’ competencies (and the competencies of family members and community members), by recognizing ways that students see and use mathematics in the home and outside of school.
- plan a problem solving based mathematics lesson or activity that draws upon knowledge and understanding of the practices, activities and resources of students’ communities.
Prospective teachers conduct visits to the community surrounding their field-placement school. There are various options for these visits. Visits may involve posing and investigating a problem related to the community setting.
The purpose of this activity is to support prospective teachers to design a problem-based task or lesson that connects to the Community Math Exploration (Activity 1). This activity could also be an additional context to practice lesson planning/task design.
Prospective teachers produce either an individual written reflection or work with their group to prepare a group commentary on their experiences with the community math exploration (Activity 1) and the lesson or task development (Activity 2).
To cite this module: Turner, E., Aguirre, J., Drake, C., Bartell, T. G., Roth McDuffie, A., & Foote, M. Q. (2015). Community Mathematics Exploration Module. In C. Drake et al. (Eds.), TeachMath Learning Modules for K-8 Mathematics Methods Courses. Teachers Empowered to Advance Change in Mathematics Project. Retrieved from: http://www.teachmath.info