Teaching Mathematics in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Classrooms: Greek-Cypriot Elementary Teachers’ Reported Practices and Professional Needs

Constantinos Xenofontos


In this article, the author presents and discusses findings from a small-scale qualitative project that included Greek-Cypriot elementary mathematics teachers working in schools with high percentages of immigrant pupils. Working in three neighbouring schools in the same underprivileged urban area, 16 teachers were individually interviewed regarding their experiences of teaching mathematics in those settings. The author discusses the teachers’ reported instructional practices in facilitating their pupils’ mathematical understanding, as well as their professional needs for doing so. The author’s analysis suggests that teachers focused solely on providing linguistic support for their pupils, without any attempt to incorporate their pupils’ diverse cultural backgrounds in classrooms. Also, the participants reported a number of professional needs not currently addressed by the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Cyprus. Some implications for policy and practice are discussed.


Cyprus, diversity, elementary teachers, mathematics education, professional needs, reported practices

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