ERIC Number: ED417254
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
A Balanced Formula for Math and Science Education in Diverse Settings.
Suleiman, Mahmoud F.
Within the framework of social reconstructivism and multicultural education, this paper explores issues of teaching mathematics, and to a lesser degree, science, to provide the best equitable education for all students. Today's classrooms are increasingly multicultural, and students bring to their classrooms rich personal, social, intellectual, and educational experiences that teachers must use. Optimizing learning for all students in mathematics classrooms can be achieved through creating multiple learning opportunities for all students as their differences are valued and celebrated. Orientations toward math learning should be both integrative and instrumental, being integrative in the sense that math is a crucial part of education and instrumental in that math is a useful tool for almost all aspects of life. In mathematics and science classrooms today, one can hardly see any sensitivity to students from diverse cultural backgrounds. Instructional techniques largely ignore the minority child because of incongruence between learning characteristics and teaching methods. Mathematics teachers should know and appreciate different math experiences and the contributions of minorities and other ethnic groups in American society. They should develop a thorough understanding of the educational implications of diversity in mathematics education and the diversity of their students. To prepare all students for their civic functions, mathematics and science educational programs should: (1) provide resources consistent with the social and educational demands of the global technological society; (2) motivate all students to learn mathematics; (3) highlight the contributions of all cultures in the area of mathematics and science; (4) create compatible teaching methods to accommodate the unique learning styles of students of mathematics; and (5) prepare teachers of mathematics to respond effectively to the cultural and linguistic variables affecting the acquisition of mathematics. (Contains 38 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Portions of this paper presented at the National Association for Multicultural Education Conference (Albuquerque, NM, October 29-November 2, 1997).