Math 7-9

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Math 7-9 > Strategies > Incorporate Students' Cultural Practices

Incorporate Students' Cultural Practices


Learning about students' cultures and connecting them to instructional practices helps foster a Sense of Belonging and mitigate Stereotype Threat. When educators integrate the linguistic and cultural funds of knowledge that learners bring into mathematical problems and projects, they help learners draw on their Background Knowledge to better understand and relate to the material, supporting Motivation and learning.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch how this teacher uses a square to discuss related math concepts in her cultural context. By relating Geometric Reasoning and Measurement to her and her students' culture, she creates a meaningful narrative that connects math to their lives.

  • Incorporate culturally oriented techniques into learning opportunities, such as call and response, music, or storytelling, to promote Attention and encoding into Long-term Memory. Storytelling with a focus on numbers can help learners understand the real-world importance of number and magnitude through connections to learners' Background Knowledge and home learning environment. For example, "Was there a recipe at home that went wrong because there were too many eggs or not enough oil?".
  • Design It into Your Product

  • Designing products that allow learners to see their cultures represented not only engages learners but also makes the learning more accessible and relevant. Products can work with schools to design content that is meaningful for their different populations. Student choice can also be incorporated with multiple settings and character representations for learners to choose from, allowing them to connect with the work.
  • Resources

    Below are additional examples, research, and professional development. These resources are possible representations of this strategy, not endorsements.

    Factors Supported by this Strategy