60 Minutes

One Student, Five Teachers: Stories, Lessons, and Challenges from a Math Educator’s Journey

Dr. Thomasenia Lott Adams

Do you know your students? Do you REALLY know your students? Are you aware of the “cultural capital” (Pierre Bourdieu) your students have the potential to bring to—in fact, gift to—the classroom? Cultural capital can present in several forms, but in this edWebinar, Dr. Lott Adams focuses on cultural capital in the form of the embodied state: the knowledge, skills, experiences, etc. that students have.

When we invite and engage students to contribute from the lens of their cultural capital, we open up possibilities for these students and for everyone in the learning community. Dr. Lott Adams shares stories from her early years of school to college that demonstrate how five educators valued her cultural capital and propelled her forward to become the mathematics educator and leader she is today. With each story, she also presents a challenge to participants: How do we find “it” (cultural capital) in students?

In this edWebinar, viewers:

  • Explore the definition of “cultural capital” and its implications for education
  • Learn strategies for tapping into students’ cultural capital to use as an asset in the classroom
  • Develop a concrete action toward learning more about their own students’ cultural capital

This recorded edWebinar is of interest to PreK-12 teachers and school leaders.

About the Presenter

Thomasenia Lott Adams, Ph.D. is a professor of mathematics education and has been an active member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) for more than 30 years. She currently serves as an associate editor of NCTM’s journal, Mathematics Teacher: Learning and Teaching PK-12. She is the 2020 recipient of the Kay Gilliland Equity Lecture Award sponsored by the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics. She is a member of the U.S. National Commission on Mathematics Instruction, a standing committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Her most recent publication is a co-authored chapter included in Girls and Women of Color in STEM: Navigating the Double Bind in K-12 Education (2020). She is a co-author of the Making Sense of Mathematics for Teaching series (Solution Tree) and an author of the K-5 mathematics textbook series Go Math! (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).