Welcome to the Forum for Equity in Elementary Mathematics

by Karen Economopoulos, Susan Jo Russell, and the Forum for Equity in Elementary Mathematics team

September 22, 2023

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The Forum for Equity in Elementary Mathematics is a place for educators to reflect on and discuss equity, access, identity, and agency in the elementary mathematics classroom. One of its goals is to provide resources, publications, and professional learning opportunities that will broaden and deepen discussions among educators as we seriously and passionately pursue equity in mathematics, with a specific focus on the elementary grades.

This Forum grows out of reflection on how elementary students who have been historically marginalized can be supported to be confident and powerful mathematical thinkers. In the literature on equity and mathematics, our team found fewer resources and examples focused explicitly on young students. The Forum is a place to connect with others who are reflecting, in their own contexts, on elementary students’ equitable participation in mathematics, regardless of their location, student population, or curriculum.

As the Forum launches, we are excited to share the following resources and opportunities:

  • A Framework for Reflecting about Equity in the Elementary Mathematics Classroom. Developed over several years, as we raised questions about our own work in curriculum and professional development, this Framework is a tool for considering equity and access in four areas:

    1. Deep and Rigorous Mathematics
    2. Equitable Participation in a Collaborative Mathematics Community
    3. Strength-based Assessment and Accommodation
    4. Connections to Students, Their Families, and Their Communities

    The Framework has been used in a variety of ways—at the district level, by coaches in a school, by groups of teachers, by a curriculum adoption committee—to help structure reflection and action on factors that either support elementary students to develop strong mathematics identities or act as barriers to their learning. We offer it as a resource for others to use in their own ways in their own settings.
  • A Speaker Series. These talks bring together people to share work, ideas, and perspectives that relate to equity, access, identity, and agency in the elementary mathematics classroom. Our first event, on October 19th, Math, Diversity, and the Power of Story explores how picture books that combine authentic cultural diversity, emotionally resonant stories, and deep mathematical ideas can help all children see themselves as strong mathematical thinkers.
  • A Professional Learning Network (PLN). This network is designed to connect educators interested in fostering equitable learning environments in their elementary mathematics classrooms. This year, the focus will be on teacher and student reflection and their roles in supporting more equitable learning communities. These interactive sessions will introduce, explore, and discuss how to implement and use two reflection tools developed by the Forum team in collaboration with classroom teachers.

We invite you to join us in this work and be a part of the conversation.

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