All over the world, in all eras of history, people have developed mathematical ideas to meet their needs and interests. They count objects, measure quantities, invent calendars, plan buildings, design works of art, and even play games involving math. Although each society solves these problems in its own way, the concepts are common to all.
Claudia Zaslavsky's new book introduces a multi- cultural perspective to the elementary and middle grade math curriculum, revealing how such a perspective can enrich the learning of all students-whatever their gender, ethnic/racial heritage, or socioeconomic status. Students learn that mathematics was created by real people attempting to solve real problems. They're asked to solve the same kinds of problems and to extend their problem solving skills to issues within their communities.
Zaslavsky begins by presenting a rationale for multicultural math education and describing the work of several educators. Then, she focuses on the activities themselves, providing practical suggestions and real life applications. Children have the opportunity to learn counting words in different languages and locations of the societies under discussion. The book provides background information on each topic's history and development, as well as references for both teachers and students.
The Multicultural Math Classroom inspires cooperation, creativity, and critical thinking. Students of diverse interests and achievement levels will take pride in the contributions of their people and learn to appreciate the accomplishments of others.