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ERIC Number: EJ920553
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 9
ISSN: ISSN-1072-0839
Addressing Cultural Bias--Reflect and Discuss
Wilburne, Jane M.; Marinak, Barbara A.; Strickland, Martha J.
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, v16 n8 p460-465 Apr 2011
Students who have difficulty reading, understanding, and solving word problems because of cultural and linguistic differences present challenges to teachers who are working to help every student achieve mathematical proficiency. In many middle school classrooms, teachers emphasize traditional textbook word problems, which are meant to engage students in solving problems with a real-world context. It is important to understand, however, that the real-world context might not be the real world of some students in the class. Since mathematical word problems require students to understand language, culture, the context of the problem, and the mathematics, the problems can be rather complex and often confusing for culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students. Thus, today's middle school teachers are faced with identifying when a traditional word problem may be culturally or linguistically biased and determining ways to help CLD students solve such problems. Mathematics teachers must implement "culturally relevant practices" to ensure that all students have access to equitable learning opportunities. The authors relate the instructional strategies used by middle school mathematics teachers who participated in a study that addressed this need. (Contains 2 figures.)
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A