Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Middle and Secondary Education

Degree Program

Curriculum and Instruction, PhD

Committee Chair

Bay-Williams, Jennifer

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Alagaraja, Meera

Committee Member

Peters, Susan

Committee Member

Id-Deen, Lateefah

Author's Keywords

mathematics classroom; multicultural; student identified; teacher practices; CRMT; English learners


In this study, I selected three mathematics teachers teaching in multicultural classes who were highly rated by their students. I examined these teachers’ practices in relation to multicultural instructional practices, language and critical knowledge. The participants were two secondary mathematics teachers, and one middle mathematics teacher who exclusively taught English learners who had lived in the United States for less than two years. Some of their students were considered Significantly Interrupted or limited Formal Education. The teachers, Marlon, Yasin and Abigail were from Cuba, Turkey and the United States, respectively. Using recommendations from Yin (2014), I employed multiple-case, qualitative methodology to explore and analyze these teachers’ practices. I focused on the practices replicated by all three teachers, consistent with Yin’s argument that the most convincing evidence is when practices occur across various contextual circumstances. The primary data sources comprised of three teacher interviews, classroom observations and lesson artifacts. I analyzed the data in multiple iterations across two phases. I identified categories shared among the teachers, collapsed the categories into subthemes, and the themes emerged. The themes revealed several shared practices among the three highly-rated teachers. The teachers recognized and referred to cultural distinctions, made themselves available outside of class, and advocated for their students. The teachers practiced various, frequent, and explicit language strategies. These strategies attended to social English, and the academic language of mathematics together with precursory language and concepts. The teachers positioned students for a successful future based on the teacher’s perceptions of their students’ future and the purpose of mathematics education. The teachers guided students to practice learner habits, and connected classroom responsibilities with the students’ lives. These findings were consistent with previous research in bilingual classrooms, and contribute to the research on multicultural mathematics classrooms. Future research may examine the impact of these practices on student learning.