This project will contribute knowledge about cultivating and strengthening productive mathematical identities of early childhood and elementary students. The project has the potential to improve kindergarten to third grade mathematics education for students from historically and persistently marginalized groups by intentionally leveraging (and confirming) resources for productive mathematical identity development. Further, this project will also equip educators to design number talks building upon students’ funds of knowledge and to also support their efforts to positively develop students’ mathematical identities.

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CAREER: Sparking "Number Talks" to Strengthen Mathematical Identities

This project will contribute knowledge about cultivating and strengthening productive mathematical identities of early childhood and elementary students. First, this study aims to identify and document the funds of knowledge students, families, and communities bring to mathematics learning spaces. Second, using the funds of knowledge, this research will support educators to intentionally design, enact, and revise number talks (i.e., ten-to-fifteen-minute math discussions where students mentally solve mathematics problems and then come together as a class to share their mathematical reasoning) in ways that support productive mathematical identity development. Third, this investigation aims to determine the design principles of number talks that positively impact productive mathematical identity development while determining how mathematics identity evolves over time. This project has the potential to improve kindergarten to third grade mathematics education for students from historically and persistently marginalized groups by intentionally leveraging (and confirming) resources for productive mathematical identity development. Further, this project will also equip educators to design number talks building upon students’ funds of knowledge and to also support their efforts to positively develop students’ mathematical identities.

This project seeks to answer the overarching research question: What role does mathematics identity development play in learning processes? The principal investigator will collaborate with kindergarten to third grade students, families, teachers, and community partners across three schools and a community center. Using participatory design research methodologies, this project will begin in collaboration with students, families, and community partners by leveraging photovoice or participatory photography to document how mathematics is used in everyday, out-of-school activities. Then, teachers will engage in participatory research via Math Labs to iteratively plan, enact, reflect, and revise number talks connected to students’ funds of knowledge. Together, we will seek to understand how the mathematical objects (i.e., images) contained in number talks will mediate learning to build students’ identity and number sense by using qualitative analysis to understand the alignments/contradictions between interactions (people and tools), norms and practices (positioning within the learning community), frames (funds of knowledge lens), and narratives (resources for recognition) that afford/constrain mathematical identity development. Further, we will identify design principles of number talks (i.e., norms and practices) that support or hinder the development of productive mathematical identities. Findings of this project will help us to understand how the integration of learning, knowing, and doing that are familiar to students can be leveraged to build positive mathematical identities.

## Project Materials

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