Plenary Speaker Profile (2008)
Marta Civil
Professor, Department of Mathematics
University of Arizona
Funds of Knowledge and Mathematics Education: Implications for Teacher Preparation and Professional Development

In this presentation I will draw on several research efforts aimed at connecting school mathematics with "everyday mathematics." My work takes places primarily in working class Latino communities and involves working with teachers, students, and parents. I will discuss the successes as well as the challenges that we faced as we tried to develop school learning experiences in mathematics that acknowledge and build on the resources and experiences from the community (their funds of knowledge). Some of these challenges have to do with the values and beliefs associated with different forms of knowledge and with what we count as being mathematics. My focus will be on implications of this work for mathematics teacher preparation and professional development efforts.

Marta Civil is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Arizona. Her research interests are in teacher education, cultural and social aspects in the teaching and learning of mathematics, equity, and parental engagement in mathematics. Her work is located in working class, Latino communities. She has presented her work at national and international conferences and has several publications in her main areas of research.

Dr. Civil teaches primarily mathematics courses for elementary teachers (K-8) (preservice and practicing teachers) and graduate courses on research in mathematics education. She has directed several initiatives aimed at engaging children ages 8-13 in hands-on mathematics and science explorations in informal and after-school settings, including an NSF-funded gender equity project, Girls in the SYSTEM (Sustaining Youth in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). She was one of the PIs of NSF-funded MAPPS (Math and Parent Partnerships in the Southwest). The project's goal was to promote parental involvement in mathematics through the development of leadership teams (parents, teachers, and administrators) who learned about mathematics and in turn facilitated workshops for parents within their school district. She is currently the PI for NSF-funded CEMELA (Center for the Mathematics Education of Latinos/as), a Center for Learning and Teaching. CEMELA is an interdisciplinary, multi-university consortium focused on research and practice on the connections between the teaching and learning of mathematics and the cultural, social, and linguistic contexts of Latino/a students.