STEM Education Across the Learning Continuum pp 175-193 | Cite as

# Exploring Student Views and Perspectives Within a Changing Classroom Context: Developing Mathematical Inquiry Communities with Diverse Learners

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## Abstract

In many Western countries, an ongoing challenge for researchers and educators over the past decade has been persistent inequities in mathematics teaching and learning for particular groups of learners. A key issue related to equity is the exclusion of diverse learners’ culture, language and ways of being within mathematics classrooms. Within the New Zealand context, there is a changing student population that is increasingly culturally diverse. New Zealand student backgrounds include indigenous Māori students as well as the largest group of Pāsifika students in the Western world. Frequently, within the schooling system in New Zealand, the cultural background of both Māori and Pāsifika students has been perceived as a deficit and these students are ascribed low status and given related repetitive and procedural teaching. This chapter provides an exemplar of a professional learning and development approach that draws on students’ cultural and language backgrounds to induct the students into using a range of mathematical practices in the mathematics classroom. The chapter examines the changes in student views over one year beginning from the introduction of the strength-based approach. It uses the voices of diverse students to provide a window into understanding how such an approach can serve as a mechanism to support the development of a strong mathematical disposition as well as a positive cultural identity.

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