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Improving Access to Mathematics: Diversity and Equity in the Classroom (Multicultural Education


reviewed by Walter G. Secada ó June 22, 2007

coverTitle: Improving Access to Mathematics: Diversity and Equity in the Classroom (Multicultural Education
Author(s): Na'ilah Suad Nasir and Paul Cobb
Publisher: Teachers College Press, New York
ISBN: 0807747297 , Pages: 224, Year: 2006
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From the 1960s through the 1980s, explanatory accounts for group-based differences in mathematics achievement (as measured through standardized tests, course taking, majors, and careers that require deep knowledge of mathematics) tended to be drawn upon notions of deficiency that, ultimately, became characteristics located within individuals who comprised the underachieving groups. Indeed, I still remember being encouraged to rely on the individual differences literature to account for the literature on achievement disparities when developing my chapter for the Handbook of Research on Teaching and Learning Mathematics (Secada, 1992). Improving Access to Mathematics, edited by Na’ilah Suad Nasir and Paul Cobb shows how far the field of mathematics education has moved since those times. Instead of deficiency, the contributors shift their focus to student competence. This shift is best evidenced in Judith Moschkovich’s analysis of a bilingual student using the linguistic and mathematical tools at her disposal to provide a real mathematical explanation.... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: June 22, 2007
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 14528, Date Accessed: 10/24/2017 1:56:48 AM

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About the Author
  • Walter Secada
    University of Miami
    E-mail Author
    WALTER G. SECADA is Professor and Chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning at the University of Miami, FL. His scholarly interests include issues of equity in mathematics education, school restructuring, curriculum reform, and professional development of teachers. Currently, he is associate director of two major NSF-funded efforts at UM: (a) Promoting Science among English Language Learners (P-SELL) within a High Stakes Testing Environment which involves nearly 150 teachers in grades 3-5 in high-needs schools enrolling large numbers of Latino/a and Haitian students within the Miami-Dade County Public Schools and (b) Science Made Sensible, a professional development effort which pairs doctoral students in the sciences with science teachers in the feeder pattern to an MDCPS high school that enrolls large numbers of African American students. A fluent speaker of Spanish, he is also collaborating with an NGO in Lima Peru on studying achievement and school completion among that nationís indigenous populations in the rural altiplano.
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