AMTE releases statement on equitable and inclusive math teaching and learning

The AMTE Board has released a Statement on Equitable and Inclusive Mathematics Teaching and Learning. The full statement is included below and is also available on the AMTE website:

AMTE Statement on Equitable and Inclusive Mathematics Teaching and Learning
April 2022

The Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators’ (AMTE) mission to promote the improvement of PreK-12 mathematics teacher education is inextricably bound to our commitment to develop more effective and socially just systems of education. Our organizational mission is thus grounded in a collective commitment to promote diversity and to advance equity and inclusion (see AMTE Position: Equity in Mathematics Teacher Education, 2015).

Mathematics and Its Relationship to the Learner
As an organization of mathematics teacher educators, AMTE celebrates that mathematics is everywhere, not just in the classroom and not just on paper. Mathematics is about identifying connections, recognizing patterns, and making sense of the world around us. Doing mathematics is about engaging in exploration, problem solving, and sensemaking, rather than simply rote memorization, calculations, and procedures. Mathematical literacy empowers individuals to reason and interpret mathematics to solve authentic real-world problems. Student experiences should include engaging in mathematical concepts, procedures, and approaches to make well-founded judgements and decisions to understand and contribute to an informed democratic society. All students are doers and creators of mathematics.

Preparing Mathematics Teachers
Mathematics has been historically used as a gatekeeper and a tool to maintain white supremacy and other current systemic hierarchies that promote inequitable and unjust practices. Therefore, we must prepare teachers to recognize this history of our country, the role mathematics has played in this history, and the ways that some students' gifts and assets have been cast as deficits. It is essential that teachers recognize and respect all students–including those that have been historically marginalized and minoritized based on factors such as race, class, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation, religion, immigration status, etc.–in ways that allow them to bring their full selves into the learning space. To discount the multiple perspectives that inform mathematics, including the history of mathematics, takes away from the fact that mathematics is a part of all of us and that we all have a role in constructing its future if we hope for a more equitable and just society.

Recognizing the unique assets each learner brings to the classroom is critical to supporting students to use their gifts to see various connections and meanings across mathematics content; this deepens learning for all. This work involves recognizing and respecting the whole learner and their world in a way that brings their experiences into the learning space. It means recognizing that people, including our PreK-12 learners, have had different experiences in the world including systemic exclusion, racism, and marginalization. Discounting the multiple perspectives that inform mathematics and the holistic needs of the learner takes away from the fact that mathematics is a human activity.

Teachers as Professionals
We advocate for teachers’ freedom to use their expertise and professional judgement to meet the individual needs of all learners in their complex classrooms as they work to teach mathematics in equitable and anti-racist ways. We recognize that mathematics curriculum is multifaceted and needs to represent the diverse experiences, histories, and identities that make up our world. For too long, mathematics curriculum has been presented from one point of view and has ignored contributions from mathematicians of color and from diverse backgrounds, opportunities to use mathematics for liberation, and connections between mathematics and the lived experiences of historically marginalized and minoritized students. It is important that there is diversity in representation and opportunities for learners to engage, explore, connect with, and question the curriculum and to see how mathematics extends beyond their experiences. As an organization, we support mathematics teacher educators and teachers across the nation who are working to bring this authenticity into the classroom to enhance the learning of mathematics for all.