As I apply for several other colleges who are hiring part time math teachers, I find myself wondering about this question as it is asked on ALL college instruction applications. Some of the questions that have came about in the adjunct faculty math applications are:
- Describe your experience working with diverse socio-economic students
- Ability and willingness to work with students from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds.
- Ability to motivate and teach students with diverse cultural, socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds, preparation, learning styles, and disabilities, using instructional methods that reflect cultural sensitivity and interdisciplinary approaches to subject matter. Incorporating materials and activities that reflect the role of mathematics in students’ lives.
My question is, how do you all attack such a question? Here's my response for this question:
As Jaime Escalante puts it, “Mathematics is the great equalizer.” I have had the privilege in working with students from a culturally diverse community: African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, mixed-race students, students with disabilities, students with limited English proficiency, AB 540 students, students from low income communities, students of particular religious groups, and students with different sexual orientations. Math never cares what your social background is, it does not care what language you speak, nor will it ever discriminate. Mathematics is accessible for all students. This will be their language and by helping them build this academic language content, they will be better prepared for the challenges they will encounter in college and therefore be more successful. So no matter what background they come from, Math will provide an equal opportunity for all my college students to reach their goals. Even though Math is the equalizer people will engage in Math from different cultural perspectives therefore it is imperative that a Mathematics professor uses cultural distinctions to access the universality of Mathematics. Math origins are spread throughout the world and I would bring in these distinct and unique cultural vignettes to make representatives from different areas produce and acknowledge the contribution of others so that they respect and acknowledge the contribution to the field.