Emerging bilinguals' mathematical agency in a teaching experiment : tomar posesión y entender las ideas matemáticas

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2018-05-01

Authors

Silva, Juanita Maria

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Abstract

Latino/a emerging bilinguals with identified learning disability labels face marginalization in the mathematics classroom due to several barriers, such as the type of instruction and denial of native language as a resource. Little research is devoted to helping Latino/a emerging bilinguals with identified labels have access to mathematical practices that promote mathematical understanding, and therefore small opportunities to enact mathematical agency. This dissertation offers an alternative to current mathematics instruction by examining the extent at which three Latino/a emerging bilinguals identified with struggling or learning disability labels in elementary school exhibited mathematical agency through participation in mathematical discussions centered on problem solving. The three Latino/a emerging bilingual children were engaged in discussions of base ten and fraction concepts coupled with mathematical practices in a teaching experiment. The findings indicate that these children have the capacity to enact mathematical agency when exposed to problem solving discussions that position them as competent learners. The findings also indicate children are were more likely to participate in meaningful discussions when allowed to use their mathematical thinking and ideas.

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