Learning to Leverage Children’s Multiple Mathematical Knowledge Bases in Mathematics Instruction

Erin E. Turner, Mary Q. Foote, Kathleen Jablon Stoehr, Amy Roth McDuffie, Julia Maria Aguirre, Tonya Gau Bartell, Corey Drake


In this article, the authors explore prospective elementary teachers’ engagement with and reflection on activities they conducted to learn about a single child from their practicum classroom. Through these activities, prospective teachers learned about their child’s mathematical thinking and the interests, competencies, and resources she or he brought to the mathematics classroom, and then wrote reports that included instructional suggestions as to next steps to further the child’s growth in mathematics. The authors’ analyses of these reports indicate that there were a variety of ways which prospective teachers made connections to one or more of their child’s knowledge bases. In a high percentage of cases, prospective teachers attended to one of these knowledge bases, indicating that they were attending to particularities about their child and developing the dispositions to continue to do so. Implications for research and practice are discussed.


children’s funds of knowledge, children’s mathematical thinking, mathematical tasks, prospective teacher education

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