An Ethnographic Case Study: The Co-Construction of Mathematical Knowledge in a 4th Grade Dual Language Classroom




Gonzales, Nancy C.

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According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), the National Assessment of Educational Process (NAEP) revealed that there is an achievement gap in mathematics between English learners (ELs) and non-ELS (NCES, 2015). Across the U.S., the cultural and linguistic diversity in classrooms continues to grow. Equitable mathematics education that builds on students' culture and language may allow Latino emergent bilingual students to make more positive strides in mathematics. Teachers of Latino emergent bilingual students play an important role in preparing these students in mathematics. In this study I considered that a teacher's understanding of mathematics along with her language learning beliefs and classroom practices dictate what and how she will teach. This ethnographic, exploratory, qualitative study delved into how a 4th grade dual language teacher used her mathematical knowledge for teaching mathematics and language learning beliefs and language learning classroom practices in order to understand how she co-constructed mathematical knowledge alongside her Latino emergent bilingual students. Additionally, the students' funds of knowledge and previous home and school experiences were also examined to observe their participation in the co-construction of mathematical concepts.


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Dual Language, ELLs, Emergent Bilingual Students, Mathematics Education, Translanguaging



Bicultural-Bilingual Studies