Transcript of the episode “Math literacy: Every student’s right”

[00:00:15] Amy H-L: I’m Amy Halpern-Laff. 

[00:00:16] Jon M: And I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. Our guest today is Dr. Terry Bucci, Associate Professor of Math Education at Ohio State University at Mansfield and co-director of OSU’s Mathematics Literacy Initiative, which changes the way K through 12 math is taught. This is part one of a two-part interview. Welcome Terri.

[00:00:38] Terri B: Thank you. Thanks for having me.

[00:00:41] Amy H-L: What is the Math Literacy Initiative?

[00:00:44] Terri B: The Math Literacy Initiative started after work began on the Mansfield campus of Ohio State through a colleague in the math department, LeeMcKuen. Lee and his wife, who was also a professor at Ohio State, but she’s in history, Lee and his wife were asked to be part of the NSF grant for the Algebra Project implementation. And one of the settings for that proposal was in Mansfield. So they worked with Mansfield middle school students and then followed them through their years in high school, implementing the Algebra Project, where, at that point it was YPP, which is the Young People’s Project that’s an offshoot of the Algebra Project. And that YPP project really kind of solidified the relationships and the engagement of the middle school students. And that was really cool because then that carried over, after school and in the summer, and that carried over then into the relationships in the high school. So what happened was things were working well. Students were doing well. Kids were enjoying mathematics. They were talking more in mathematics. They were engaging more. There was a real relationship developing between the teacher and the students throughout their high school.

And the superintendent wisely said, “Why are we waiting until eighth grade before we do these things in the classroom? Why don’t we do something with kindergarten through sixth grade students?” because he was seeing what was happening with these students and how much more engaged they were, not only in their mathematics, but also just in school in general and being more successful, more having more agency. So my colleague Lee asked if I would work with them. And what happened was Nell Cobb, who has been with the Algebra Project for a long time, and Bill Crombie, from the Algebra Project, came to Mansfield and worked with us for a couple of years on imagining and envisioning what the Algebra Project could look like in kindergarten through sixth grade. So we started doing that work. That was about 2012. And what happened was just really exciting. The teachers traditionally, and this is a generalization, so this is not true for all, but traditionally kindergarten through fifth grade, sixth grade teachers are very much focused on reading and writing literacies, and rightfully so. I mean, there’s a lot of focus, that’s when we start to read. That’s how we decide whether or not reading is enjoyable. And so there’s a lot of focus on reading and writing literacy, but what happened when we started working with K through six and using Algebra Project principles and pedagogies, was the teachers became very much engaged in instruction in mathematics. And so it was no longer this field that they found inaccessible. They could access it. They could do the mathematics that was required and were excited about that. But also then figured out ways to use the pedagogy and use the ideas to engage their students in mathematics they hadn’t been able to do it before sometimes because they weren’t engaged themselves.

So it’s hard to engage the students when you’re kind of fearful of it yourself. So what that did was it just really vitalized the teachers. The teachers just ran with it. They wrote incredible lessons. They found ways to connect what these things we call “shared experiences” from grade to grade. So there’s a whole body of lessons that really work off of each other, are “vertically aligned,” you say in education. So there’s a package of vertically aligned lessons, all designed by teachers, not by somebody who’s not in the classroom with the kids every day, and they just embraced it. They demanded time and and money be put toward it and went to their board and expressed that demand. And that’s when it all started. And it’s just kind of been going because of the ability to access mathematics instruction and knowledge and understanding that had not been there.

[00:05:20] Jon M: Wow! That’s exciting. So you’ve been talking about the Algebra Project and we in fact learned about the Mathematics Literacy Project when we interviewed the late Bob Moses about the Algebra Project, which, of course, he started. But many of our listeners may not be familiar with it. One foundation of your work is the Algebra Project’s 5-Step Curricular Process. Could you briefly tell us what this is and give people a context for it?

[00:05:48] Terri B: Sure. So the 5-Step Curricular Process was designed by Bob, and the very first 5-Step Curricular Process lesson was tripline. And if people haven’t read Bob’s work, I would suggest that you read some of his work and “Radical Equations” is a great start. And what I’ve figured out is that we all come to this classroom, this math classroom, with varying experiences. And one of the things that we know is that when we negotiate our understanding of new things, we have to discuss those things with other students. We have to be able to be in that same space and be able to talk about the same kinds of things. And we know that, because we all come from different places, that’s really not as easy as it seems in the math classroom. So the thing that he discovered was let’s all have a shared experience. Let’s do something that is designed to really get at the core of the concept that we’re trying to talk about. Let’s design an experience that we can all engage in because then if we can all engage with that experience, we have this kind of common language that we can use to describe it and to talk about it and to understand it a little bit deeper, because that’s really,what we want to do.

[00:07:06] Jon M: What would be an example?

[00:07:07] Terri B: Okay. So one of the experiences, we’re going to do one with a group of educators tomorrow, and one of them is called ” the winding game.” So the winding game is a shared experience. And I’m going to give away the secret right now, because I’m going to tell you what it’s about. And we are very purposeful and not telling students what the shared experience is supposed to represent. We want them to get there just by natural conversation. So the winding game is about the division algorithm. And you might think when you look at the game, like if a principal walked by a classroom that was playing the winding game, he or she would probably think, “What’s going on here?” It looks like the kids are playing musical chairs or walking around, but really it’s designed, the structure of the whining game has 12 chairs in a circle. You split the class into two different teams. And one team is given a number, just a random number, by the teacher, random number [inaudible] or whatever. And they have to show that number to the other team without talking, but just representing it on the circle. So let’s say you have the number 49, and there are 12 chairs in the circle, and someone from one team comes up and he wants to represent the number 49. So he or she goes up to the chairs and starts walking, and walks around the circle once and then walks around the circle another time and another time and another time. So he or she has walked around the circle four times and then goes to the first chair and sits down and that’s all he or she does. That’s what that turn looks like.

So what happens though, is the other team then is just watching the student walking around the circle, and whispering and hunching over. And, you know, you got them when they’re reaching over and talking to each other. So they’re hunching over and talking to each other and watching, and then they have to figure out okay, what does that mean? So there’s all kinds of things that have to come into this. What does that mean? What are the constraints? What was the start? Was the start a zero or was a start a one? We don’t know all of those things, but we have to figure it out together. And so that team who tries to figure out what the number is, and they make a guess, and then the other team lets them know if they were right or wrong. And then you take turns doing that three, four times. It. And then when that ends, that is the end of the shared experience. There’s no finality. There’s no okay, we just learned today, blah, blah, blah,. It’s just the shared experience. That’s what we all engaged in, that shared experience.

So that’s the first step of the curriculum processes, shared experience. And it might seem like it’s a trivial activity, but that activity took hours and hours and days to kind of design. And it was designed by mathematicians to actually target this particular concept. So there’s all kinds of mathematics that goes into even the design of a shared experience. And that mathematics that goes into the design for the shared experience is all done by teachers and educators talking about what it is that their students need to experience so they can connect with that concept. So that’s the first stage.

The second stage, actually the second and third stages, we’re talking a lot about communication. So one of the things that we want to make sure is that mathematics is accessible to all students. That’s why we even have the shared experience, so we also want their communication of that mathematics to be accessible to them, too. Well, we know that communication is accessible to the communicator, right, cause that’s how he or she is communicating. They’re using those words and terms to try to get their ideas across. So with the second step, which is called pictorial representation, students draw pictures of what they just experienced. And at first, when you ask, when you talk about this pedagogy and use this pedagogy in a classroom, you’re asking the student, Okay, I want you to draw a picture of, of what we just experienced today. What was it like?” And you might imagine the first couple of times they look at you with this funny look in their eyes. What, just tell me what you want me to draw. That’s what the students want to know. Just tell me what you’re, what, what are you looking for? What do you want? And it takes a little while for students to trust you when you say “no, I really just want to know what you’re thinking about it. What’s a picture that helps you to demonstrate to me what this experience meant to you?? And so it takes a few times for them to really, “oh, you really do want to know what I’m thinking about this.” And so you get pictures sometimes, especially with the elementary school kids, but this happens with college kids, too. I use this in my [unintelligible].They draw pictures, sometimes of activity. They’ll draw the chairs in a circle. They’ll draw their friends with little dialogue boxes or dialogue bubbles. They’ll draw all kinds of things. And then sometimes they get into a representation that looks maybe a little bit like a graph or sometimes it just, it’s what it means to them. That gets us off starting about it and talking about it from their perspective, which is key. Then the third step is people talk. People talk is where the students use their own verbiage to talk about the events that just took place in that shared experience. So sometimes students will talk about the rules.

So oftentimes in the playing of this game, there’s a big conversation and debate about whether or not the first chair is zero or if the first chair is one. That typically happens in the shared experience. There’s that kind of debate. And I did this activity with a group of college kids. And we on our norms, when we begin our classes, we do class norms and one of those class norms is no violence. And people will laugh at it because it’s in the math classroom. But, but we got pretty darn close to it in my math course on college, just over a zero. But when you get people engaged in this activity, the shared experience is really theirs. They determine it. It gets passionate, and you can get passionate about zeros and ones in the class. If that’s kind of how you’ve been like set up to, to engage with the work…

[00:13:43] Jon M: Does a decade or a century start with, you know, 2000 or tens… 

[00:13:47] Terri B: Right! That’s right! Debates are fun, you know, it, as long as we’re all in that same space and we have respect for each other. So people talk is where the students write about that experience. Some write about the rules, some write about the process, some write about, Oh, this was fun.” And then some talk about the mathematics. And when I say that, I mean more of like a structural, what we would recognize as mathematics.

That is not the whole goal, though. The goal is to find out how the kids are connecting to the task, because that’s where we then, as teachers and facilitators of discussion, can then go to this fourth step, which is called feature talk. It’s the responsibility of the instructor to facilitate that conversation around the ideas that the students and the terms that the students use, both when they were describing their picture to others, but also when they were writing. And so it’s, it’s a kind of a job of finesse for the teacher. So the teacher knows because when we create these shared experiences, the teacher knows what the primary ideas are going to be, what he or she wants to pull out from there.

So, so in this case, wait, the chairs are an important idea. The number of chairs in a circle is an important idea. They, the number of rounds around the chair is an important idea. And then the number of chairs that the walker goes beyond. One rounding is an important idea. So as an instructor, we know those things are the ones that want to start pulling out.

So when they have the pictorial representation and the people talk, we kind of are listening for, okay, why, what is my class? What is our class talking about and using for the term “extra chairs,” is it “leftover,” what is it?” And then you would dock those kinds of terms. And then when you’re in the feature talk, you say, “okay, you know, Terri used ‘ extras’ and Jon used leftovers.’ and can we figure out what we want to use together as a class when we talk about this leftover part. And what we’re really talking about is ,okay, I’ll step outside for a second. Is that remainder? That leftover chair is a remainder when we talk about the division. Now we don’t say that to the students, not even in this feature talk. We get them to talk about what does it mean when Jon says “leftover” and Terri says “extra.” What does that mean? And what term can be used for that? So it’s this whole idea of negotiating our understanding together. But we’re negotiating because of the shared experience in a common space, and that’s what is missing in most math classrooms.

And so then we go to that final step, which is the symbolic representation, and in the symbolic representation, that’s typically where a math like a traditional math class starts. We slap down a whole bunch of symbols and numbers and say. “Okay, memorize that this thing means this and this thing means this, this thing just,” and that has no continuity to the way that they’re thinking about ideas. And so in this way, the beauty of this 5-step Curricular Process is that the symbolic representation comes directly from this experience and negotiation, and they have a true meaning for what these symbols are. And it may turn out that the symbol, as a matter of fact, in this case, the symbol might be a rotation. It might be a kind of a bullet sign, a circle. going from inside out that might be the symbol for a round or the symbol for a chair might be, you know, what we think of as like a stick figure chair, and we can use that chair and we can use that circle that’s in the form of a round. We can use that for a little while, until the students feel comfortable. And when I say a little while, a day or two, so that they feel comfortable with that notation. And then we can integrate some of the more common mathematical notations that they’re going to see. And when they have that connection, that really helps to form that foundation of understanding, which in this case is the division algorithm. 

So then we can move on from there in this process that 5-step Curricular Process. It’s really designed to be a formative engagement tool. So formative assessment, we were using it, we, as teachers, are using it as our primary tool to find out what kids are thinking about mathematics, because that is our goal. We can’t teach kids if we don’t know how they’re thinking about the mathematics, and we can’t find out how they’re thinking about the mathematics unless we give them opportunities to engage with these ideas at their level and with their verbiage.

[00:18:56] Jon M: Who are your students? This is obviously a very different way of teaching math. So whom are you teaching, who is learning this, and how are they putting it into practice? 

[00:19:05] Terri B: So with the Math Literacy Initiative, which again is based on the work of Bob Moses and the Algebra Project, is multi-layered. So we use the 5-Step Curricular Process in our professional development with area teachers. So there are whole seven-eight districts around the region of Mansfield, Ohio, where teachers are using this with students in kindergarten and all the way up to 12th grade. We work primarily with kindergarten through sixth grade teachers. So that that population is using this in our area. We also use it, we’re fortunate enough to have Debbie Adams, who was one of the original Algebra Project high school teachers in the grant that I mentioned earlier. She was in Southern Illinois and we were fortunate enough to get her on our campus. So now she teaches our math content courses for the students who are going to be teachers. So it’s not only something that we use in professional development with in-service teachers, but we also use this process with pre-service teachers. So they take courses, content courses, where they’re experiencing the 5-Step Curricular Process from a student perspective.

So they’re feeling all of that connection to concept development that they’ve never felt, for the most part, before in their K-12 instruction. As a student, they’re feeling that power that they get from having this accessibility, to be able to talk about mathematical ideas and really have an understanding of it that happens in this from the student perspective. Then they come to the methods class and we talk about it from a theoretical perspective. So why is it that we want students to talk about [unintelligible] ideas? Why do students need to be able to use their own language to be able to connect with it? How do you do this? How do you make this happen in today’s public school? Those are the things that we talk about with them when they get to methods. So then they’re placed in districts with teachers that have been to professional development. So they see what it looks like with kids. Too often, you know, in higher education, when we talk about what things should or could look like in the classroom, we talk about it at the university, and then they go to the schools and they see the real deal on what school’s like. And so we try to avoid that by placing students with teachers who are actually using this in the classroom and who engaged with it, and really see it as a way to provide opportunities, power, leadership, and agency for their students.

[00:21:42] Amy H-L: Terri, when you say you want all people to see themselves as mathematicians, what does that really mean? 

[00:21:51] Terri B: Well, here’s the problem. I’m going to tell a little story about Gordon Gee. He was quite a character. He was the president of Ohio State University. Great. He was with us for a while at Ohio State, then went away and came back. Really charismatic, you know, everyone liked him and he came to Mansfield when Lee and Heather were starting that work at Mansfield High School with a class and the teacher,. It was a pep rally, and he came to this pep rally and we were talking. He was there to meet with the Algebra Project students. He wanted to see what they were doing in the classroom. And the first thing he said to this whole group of students was, “I’m here to see what you’re doing with mathematics. And I gotta tell you, I just, I was never good at mathematics. I could never do that stuff.” And Lee and I just looked at each other and it was our mouths just gaped open. Here’s this very successful man who just told everybody you don’t need to know anything about math. You can be as successful as me and know nothing about math, which if you really think about it, it’s so not true. Like there are hoops you have to go through to be able to be in a position like he was in. And some of those hoops involve mathematics. So it’s just the accepted nature of someone saying I can’t do math. It’s going to be debilitating to our culture, it’s going to be debilitating to our country. If you think about it, no one would walk up to a group, he would never have walked into that group and said, “I just don’t read. I don’t get reading. I’m not good at reading. I’m not a reader.” No one would say that, because culturally, it’s not appropriate to say something like that. It’s okay to say that about mathematics and we need to change that. And it’s not the fearful person’s fault that they feel like they’re not good at mathematics. We are very good in education at making sure people know what they’re not good at and what they can’t do. And that’s the cultural revolution that has to happen. We have to become more about what we can do than what’s not possible for us to do.

[00:24:16] Jon M: Do you see people seeing themselves as mathematicians as an ethical issue?

[00:24:23] Terri B: As an ethical issue.

[00:24:25] Jon M: I was thinking of that because it really stuck in my head when Bob Moses said that he saw algebra as a civil rights issue. And you were just saying how there has to be a cultural revolution in terms of how people, you know, see math, but also when you just said that we’re very good at teaching and telling people what they’re not good at. I was just wondering, because our focus as a podcast is ethics so I was looking at it that way. . . 

[00:24:56] Terri B: It’s an ethical issue, especially with respect to our responsibility as educators, to make sure that students see themselves as mathematicians, because if they don’t, access is closed off to them. And it’s not, you know, we keep saying, well, traditionally, educators will say, well, they’re just not doing their homework. They’re just not getting the help at home. They’re just not doing this. They’re just not doing that. They, they, they, they, they not, not, not instead of, “Okay, when you come into the classroom, we are going to call each other mathematicians. We’re going to engage in mathematics and the back and forth and negotiation and discussion and debate like mathematicians.” That’s how mathematicians work, and it’s our responsibility as educators to make sure the students see that. That’s what a mathematician is. A mathematician, you know, I know a lot of professional mathematicians. They don’t sit in a room and do problems. They will sit in a room, maybe, with colleagues and I’ll see them and they’ll have their arms crossed across their chest. And they’re looking at the board, they get up and somebody grabs the chalk and then somebody else grabs it back. And they’re trying to figure stuff out. That’s mathematics. Mathematics is not sitting in a row being quiet and doing exactly what someone else tells you to do. That is not mathematics. So I guess I do. I never thought about it that way, as an ethical issue, but absolutely it is an ethical issue. It is our responsibility as educators to make sure students see math is accessible. It’s not important anymore just for the engineers and the math teachers. We have got to have a culture where we can both understand and do mathematics, but also where we can understand and negotiate and debate about big ideas, whether those big ideas are in the math classroom, about whether it’s a zero or a one on the first chair, or if those big ideas are about whether or not we’re going to put money into afterschool programs or whether or not we’re going to demand the teachers do X or Y or don’t do extra Ys. 

[00:27:16] Amy H-L: Terri, how would you define being good at math? 

[00:27:21] Terri B: Well, I think that definition is individual. So I think society defines being good at math as getting grades and in many of today’s math classrooms, that means being subservient in the math classroom. It means sitting in your chair with your mouth closed, not having to do something many, many times, but getting it on that first try. And that is not. So that is what I think the general public’s perception of being good at math is. I think being good at math is being able to articulate an understanding of ideas, both concrete and abstract, that we can use to create and develop other ideas. So it’s not about can you solve this equation. It’s about can we look for patterns? Can we analyze change? Can we look at an analysis of change? Can we develop generalizations about mathematical ideas and numbers and look, and find beauty in that? Can we have a substantive conversation about equality? You know, if you think of the equal sign, when we look at it as a symbol, everyone knows that’s about math. When we look at it as an idea, we’d better be teaching what equality is really good in math class, because we use that word all over the place, and we make huge assumptions about students knowing what that symbol means. So there’s a symbol in mathematics that takes into account the idea of context, and equality has contexts. Those are ideas that bridge over into our society. And what’s happening right now in the math fashion is that that’s symbols thrown in, in kindergarten. Hugely complex symbol, hugely complex. And we just slap it in there in kindergarten and think that if we use it more and more and more, somebody’s going to figure out what that means. Well, we have to have a discussion about what that means, you know, what does it mean to be equal and that conversation could very easily and should start in the math classroom. So I think good mathematicians are people who… I think persistence is a huge indicator. Like we have to be persistent. We have to push through, find ways of not doing things in addition to finding ways of how to do things. And it’s all an exploration. So I think many, many people are good mathematicians that think that they are bad mathematicians. And, and I see that in my students all the time. We have, so the pre-service teachers that come to us, like I said, we have early childhood. We’re a regional campus, so we have early childhood education and middle childhood education. Middle childhood, they pick their areas of concentration. So you’re getting some students who pick mathematics, but also some who don’t. And same thing, early childhood mathematics. But by the time they go through this experience of being a student in an Algebra Project classroom, in Debbie’s class, with their content courses, then they come to methods. And then they see what’s happening in the classroom with kids really being engaged with mathematics and their words being honored in the mathematics classroom and their ideas being honored in the mathematics classroom. And by the end of that methods course, because of all of these things they’ve experienced, they say, “Oh, I could have taught math.”

I have so many middle childhood students that, that need pretty decent math to get into middle childhood. They’ll say, “Oh, I wish I would’ve known this before. I could have done this.” And you know, that would be true of just the general population.

[00:31:12] Jon M: It’s interesting. When we were talking earlier, you were saying that many students are being abused in math, in traditional math classes. Could you elaborate on that a little bit? I think you’ve obviously been ieading there.

[00:31:28] Terri B: So being abused in the math classroom is institutionalized actually. So it’s all about when you think about the math class. And like, if, if we just ask anybody, think about your math class, what would you say? It’s almost always rows in straight lines, a teacher up at the front. He or she gives you answers to questions that you were supposed to have done the day before at home with no teacher, and then moves quickly on to the next topic that we’re supposed to be really engaging with, but it’s not engaging with, because we can’t engage because we have so much that we have to cover throughout that year, that we have to just go from topic to topic, to topic, to topic. And I’m sorry, but if you didn’t understand that, we just have so much to do and we have to move on and it’s just this happening over and over and over for 12 years being stuck in these rooms. Not being able to all of the time. Now there are some great math teachers. There are some really good math teachers, but not being afforded the opportunity to engage with the content, to talk about what equals means, to talk about what these ideas mean. So that idea of negotiating, understanding, I say it all the time, but that is a piece of mathematics that has to be there for students. To better understand, they have to be able to talk about it. And in order to be able to talk about it, they have to have some kind of experience that is connected to it. And what we know is that the design of today’s public school is on performance, on this outside high stakes assessment that could have something to do with the kids, but could not. Like if they’re not really involved in that task, they just are, they have to, it’s a summative assessment that says, yes, you’re good or no, you’re not good, from some outside power source.

And then we, also in the realm of mathematics instruction in today’s K-12 schools, restrict access to mathematics. Only the upper kids can take algebra as an eighth grader. Only these kids, who are in this class, who oftentimes, you know, they’re also in other classes that put them in this class, whether that’s some kind of special after-school, if they’re engaged in band or something, they get put. So there are all these things that go into who gets into what math class, and that math class in junior high or middle school determines the success or failure of that student in higher education, in workforce development. It has huge implications on these students. And so instead of trying to figure out, “Hey, these kids are really good according to what we say really good in math is, so we’re going to give them some opportunities,” we need those opportunities have had to be there for all students. The problem is it takes work to figure out how to connect with all students in mathematics. That takes that’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of release of power from the teacher in the classroom. And that release of power is learned, just like the trust of a student and their teacher is learned. So if that teacher is in a district where they don’t even have the power to talk about how their classroom is going to be run, because that’s determined by the people who hold power over them.

And so that power structure is just compounded and compounded. Right now in the Statehouse in Ohio, they’re debating tomorrow, the Critical Race Theory ideas that are going around. It’s appalling. And so. Instead of saying, oh, let’s open up. Let’s open up academia. Let’s open up these ideas of understanding and knowledge, not just in math, but in everything we have to open these ideas up, we have to talk about them instead of doing that. In one of these bills, it even says that you cannot compel teachers to discuss current events that might be controversial. So, so you’re saying you can’t have people discuss ideas, like to what end, what is the purpose of this? I mean, we know the purpose, the purpose is power, control, and that’s how people who are oppressors maintain their role. And they do it in sometimes very obvious ways. Like there’s a bill, it’s also says in this bill, you can’t organize. So we can’t ask teachers to teach kids how to organize themselves for anything. So if we can’t organize, if students don’t learn how to develop their own agency, my goodness, what are they going to do when they get out of school? They’re going to do exactly what those in power want them to do, they’re going to stay in the straight lines and they’re going to sit in their seat and they’re not going to say anything. And so this, there, there’s a great deal of blending between power and control and structure in the mathematics classroom and outside and in the wider like arena of education. I have to say one more thing about that bill. So this bill in particular even says, okay, so now we don’t want you to have to discuss complicated or controversial issues. So we don’t want you to learn how to have these conversations. Those difficult conversations, that’s where the beauty is, you know, both in math and in our culture. And we don’t want to teach you. You’re not going to be okay learning how to organize, but then there’s this extra added piece of power and control that’s put on there that says you can’t accept private money. Now, why would they put that one out there with those other two that is really to just even more kind of crumble in on the spirit to find solution. So what they’re saying is, even if you find another solution strategy, you find that you can get funds or money from someplace else, we’re going to say just right off the bat, you can’t do that either. So it’s about power. It’s about control limits and lack of access. And in education, both math and otherwise, we really need to wake up because what’s happening to our students in our schools is criminal. And if we have to demonstrate to our students that act of organizing that act of, you know, this isn’t okay. This isn’t okay. We need to change it. How do we change it? And in the math classroom, in an Algebra Project classroom, all that is baked in. It’s all about how do we talk about about zeros and ones, but that big inaudible] here’s how we have complicated discussion, is all there and they learn it in that context.

[00:39:14] Jon M: Thank you, Dr. Terri Bucci, of the Mathematics Literacy Initiative, OSU, Mansfield campus.

[00:39:21] Amy H-L: And thank you, listeners. We’ll continue our conversation with Dr. Bucci next week. If you enjoyed this podcast, please share it with a friend or colleague. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and give us a rating or review. This helps others to find the show. Check out our website,, for more episodes and articles, and to subscribe to our monthly emails. We post annotated transcripts of our interviews to make them easy to use in workshops or classes. We also work with consultants to offer customized SEL programs, with a focus on ethics, for schools and youth programs in the New York City and San Francisco Bay areas. Contact us at We’re on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @ethicalschools. Our editor and social media manager is Amanda Denti. Until next week.

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