ERIC Number: ED452288
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Feb
Teaching and Learning Mathematics in Poor Communities [Working Conference] (Chicago, Illinois, June 7-10, 1998).
Campbell, Patricia F.; Silver, Edward A.
This paper presents findings from the 1998 Working Conference on Mathematics Teaching and Learning in Poor Communities, which examined evidence of effective mathematics education in impoverished communities. The task force highlighted aspects of interventions that were critical to success or failure and examined reform in relation to: student mathematics learning; mathematics teachers and teaching; and school, district, and community contexts. The learning of mathematics by students in poor communities is often limited by: the educational levels of parents; culture-schooling conflicts; low academic aspirations; and remedial instruction that emphasizes practice over problem solving and reasoning. Challenges tied to poverty included: attracting and retaining qualified teachers; student transience; and life circumstances. Many impoverished schools had needs similar to more affluent schools (e.g., organized curricula; appropriate instructional materials, competitive salaries, professional development, stable working conditions, and consistent district and school leadership). Conditions faced by many teachers in districts that have a high proportion of students from poor communities include lower salaries, fewer instructional materials, less professional autonomy, higher student loads, and larger class sizes. Successful high-poverty schools succeeded through the heroic efforts of isolated teachers and administrators. These examples were difficult to replicate broadly. Sample projects show it is possible to develop models to support large-scale mathematics improvement in these communities. Three appendixes present the conference participants and agenda and discussion questions for the conference. (Contains 33 references.) (SM)
Descriptors: Context Effect, Cultural Influences, Curriculum, Educational Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Low Income Groups, Mathematics Education, Mathematics Teachers, Minority Groups, Parent Participation, Poverty, Rural Schools, Student Evaluation, Teaching Conditions, Urban Schools
NCTM Headquarters Office, 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-9988. Tel: 703-620-9840; Fax: 703-476-2970; Web site: http://www.nctm.org.
Publication Type: Collected Works - Proceedings; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Inc., Reston, VA.
Note: "A Report to the Board of Directors of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics submitted by the Task Force on Mathematics Teaching and Learning in Poor Communities."