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Broadening the Conversation with Parents about Mathematics – Podcast Episode 46 | Podcast Episode 46

Classnotes Podcast (January 16, 2009) Engaging parents about their children’s math education is not about teaching them how to do math or about teaching teachers how to teach math. It’s about having a conversation around the context in the classroom and about developing parity in the relationship between teachers and parents in order to better support student learning. Jack Dieckmann, M.A., a former senior math education specialist at IDRA and current doctoral student at Stanford under Dr. Linda Darling Hammond, how teachers can converse with parents as peers even though they may have no knowledge of math instruction. Jack is interviewed by Aurelio Montemayor, M.Ed., director of the IDRA Texas Parent Information and Resource Center.

Jack Dieckmann, M.A., is a Gerald J. Lieberman Fellow at Stanford University, School of Education. His research in mathematics education examines effective high school math teaching with students from non-dominant communities, including English language learners and students from migrant families. Dieckmann teaches math methods courses for the Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP) and remains active in policy in migrant education at the state and national level, especially in state needs assessments. Before coming to Stanford, Dieckmann was a senior education associate at the Intercultural Development Research Association in San Antonio , where he provided leadership in professional development for math teachers. Currently, he lives with his wife and son in Northern California.

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Show Notes

  • Aurelio Montemayor, M.Ed., and Jack Dieckmann, M.A., discuss the shared responsibilities and contributions that parents, teachers and communities make in students' success.

  • Jack talks about the high status math and science experts have had throughout history.

  • Jack explains why the term "professional learning community" is inherently limited.

  • Jack discusses how a teacher can converse with parents who have no knowledge of math instruction.

  • Jack talks about Bob Moses's Algebra Project and how it helped to change traditional views that teachers alone should make decisions about what students need to succeed in mathematics.

  • Jack explains the need for building a "shared language" between teachers and parents.

  • Jack discusses why it's critical to ask students how comfortable they feel asking questions in the classroom.

  • Jack talks about the importance of overcoming the asymmetrical power relationship between teachers and parents, and how technology could play an important role in the process.

  • Jack issues math teachers a final challenge to reconsider their engagement with parents.