The resources in this Spotlight highlight equity in mathematics instruction, with professional development opportunities, insights from recent research, and pointers to courses and activities that increase equity, availability, and enjoyment for students, especially for those students who have been traditionally underserved.

Take a look at our STEM Education E-Bulletin for more resources.

Carnegie Math Pathways OERQuantway and Statway Available as Open Educational Resources

For more than a decade, Carnegie Math Pathways courses have helped improve outcomes and close equity gaps in mathematics, with a focus on supporting college readiness and completion for all students. Now Carnegie Math Pathways has taken a crucial step to make its materials and methods accessible to the students who need them most: Carnegie Math Pathways’ Quantway and Statway courses are available as Open Educational Resources (OER). Both students and educators have free access to Quantway and Statway’s evidence-based math curriculum, along with low-cost access to optional printed materials and the courses’ learning platform for easier instructor prep.

“With more than 100,000 students and more than 140 institutions served, the solutions have proven remarkably effective, with students consistently succeeding at 3 to 4 times the rate of their peers in traditional developmental math sequences and in half the time or less,” says Carnegie Math Pathways Director Ann Edwards. “These rates have held year after year across sex, race, and ethnicity, even as Pathways course enrollments have grown tenfold.”

Learn more about this important step towards equity-centered mathematics education.

Essential Characteristics of Math Curriculum Materials That Advance Culturally Responsive and Sustaining EducationMath Curriculum and Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Education: Five Guiding Principles

Culturally responsive and sustaining education (CRSE) is an educational approach intended to increase education equity, inclusivity, and positive outcomes with learning environments that affirm students’ diverse cultural backgrounds. WestEd’s research- and evidence-based reference guide, Essential Characteristics of Math Curriculum Materials That Advance Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Education, identifies five characteristics of math curriculum materials that support CRSE:

  • Affirms racial and cultural identities
  • Cultivates agency and belonging
  • Builds critical consciousness
  • Centers diverse perspectives
  • Centers student learning and academic success

Read more about CRSE and math education.

Students in classCulturally Responsive Math Assessment: Students Speak

Increasing evidence shows that education assessments center perspectives and organization that are most familiar to and comfortable for White students, which could be partially responsible for the persistent opportunity gaps between these students and other groups. With this in mind, WestEd and an external research partner conducted a series of studies asking if the inclusion of culturally and linguistically responsive (CLR) text and/or images in assessment items increased student engagement.

Thus far, studies have found that students respond positively to CLR content, though they most appreciated items that resonated with them personally (i.e., a test question that offers a baseball scenario if they play baseball), regardless of the culture associated with the content. Researchers also found all students preferred test items to be short, uncomplicated, and graphically based: pictures or charts instead of text.

Learn more about culturally and linguistically responsive (CLR) assessment research.

Subscribe to the E-Bulletin

Stay informed about WestEd’s research, resources, services, events, and career opportunities by subscribing to our E-Bulletin. Our March 2024, Volume 1 issue examines research and shares resources aimed at increasing equity in STEM education. The issue features the following:

  • Quantway and Statway Available as Open Educational Resources
  • Teaching Math and Science to Secondary English Learners
  • Mathematics Programs That Promote Curiosity and Joy
  • Five Principles for Student Motivation and Engagement
  • Improving Young Children’s Math Learning
  • Student Reactions to Culturally Responsive Math Assessment Items
  • Inclusion and Engagement in STEM Learning
  • Developing Culturally Valid Measures in STEM

View the March 2024, Volume 1 E-Bulletin.

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