Working with Mathematics Teachers and Immigrant Students: An Empowerment Perspective

Dec. 20, 2009

Source: Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, Volume 12, Number 6 / December, 2009, pages 391-409.

This article centers on a professional development project with a group of high school mathematics teachers in Barcelona.

The group included eight teachers who taught in low-income schools with a high percentage of immigrant students. The authors' model of professional development is based on the involvement of the teachers as co-researchers of their local contexts and practices. In this approach, the authors' concept of social justice is tied to the notion of empowerment, both for teachers and for their immigrant students.

The analysis of data from twelve sessions with the teachers shows the development of a shared awareness of their local situation that leads to their questioning of their practices followed by a reconstruction of those. Teachers worked together to move from talking to action. The analysis of data from the implementation of one lesson in a classroom shows that action, and illustrates signs of empowerment in the teacher and the students, such as students’ challenging of aspects of the task and taking on a more participatory role and the teacher’s reflection on the overall experience.

Updated: Dec. 24, 2009