|About the Book|
Guided by symbolic interactionism and cultural historical activity theory this study investigated how four bilingual Latina/o pre-service teachers use language (Spanish and English) and culture, defined as social practices, as instructional resourcesMoreGuided by symbolic interactionism and cultural historical activity theory this study investigated how four bilingual Latina/o pre-service teachers use language (Spanish and English) and culture, defined as social practices, as instructional resources in mathematics. The setting of the study was an after-school bilingual mathematics program, namely Los Rayos de CEMELA where pre-service teachers worked on mathematical activities with small groups of bilingual Latina/o fifth-grade students. The main research question underlying the study was: How do bilingual Latina/o pre-service teachers use language and culture as resources for assisting Latina/o students in mathematics. Sub-questions included: (1) How do these pre-service teachers use English and Spanish to mediate students engagement in mathematical activities? (2) How do these pre-service teachers utilize their own and students shared experiences (cultural knowledge) to mediate students engagement in mathematical activities?-To answer these questions, I used ethnographic methods and collected data of the pre-service teachers nine-week participation as mathematics facilitators in Los Rayos de CEMELA. The sources of data for the study included observations of the pre-service teachers interactions with 5 th grade students in Los Rayos, their oral comments during weekly debriefing meetings, and their written comments in their field-notes. I utilized a grounded theory approach to analyzing the data and found that three key factors---group members language choice and behavior, the nature of the mathematical activities, and the pre-service teachers experiences as bilingual mathematics learners---influenced language and culture as resources while facilitating mathematical activities in Los Rayos. These findings suggest that pre-service teachers use of language and culture as resources reflect the social definitions of Spanish and English that permeate our society. They also reflect the pre-service teachers cultural models for teaching and learning mathematics and for community-based activities. Implications for the mathematics teacher preparation of Latina/o teacher candidates are discussed.