What to Read? My Summer Reading List
People often ask me what books have had an impact on me as a mathematics educator. There are two books that when I first read them, affirmed that I could do the kind of work that I hope to do in mathematics education. Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom (1995) by Lisa Delpit affirmed voices, feelings, and situations I was grappling with as a classroom teacher. While not a mathematics education book, this book introduced to me Delpit’s five aspects of the culture of power, which represents a set of values, beliefs, and ways of acting and being that unfairly and unevenly elevate groups of people. Before reading this book, I had no way of articulating the power dynamics that I was experiencing as a novice teacher. Other People’s Children is a dated book, but the five aspects of the culture of power are still relevant:
Danny Martin’s Mathematics Success and Failure among African-American Youth: The Roles of Sociohistorical Context, Community Forces, School Influence, and Individual Agency (2000) was the first mathematics education book that reflected the communities I taught and the people I worked with. Martin’s framework for analyzing mathematics socialization and identity provided me with a lens for unpacking the intersections between mathematics, identity, and agency. His work gave me permission to study and unpack the experiences of Black learners in mathematics, and it also allowed me to negotiate ways of framing success in mathematics teaching and learning.
Delpit’s and Martin’s books are part of the foundational work I engaged in when developing a deep understanding of equity issues in education broadly and in mathematics education more specifically. Certainly, other seminal works supported my development in the equity space, but these books opened the door for me to access other works. With this in mind, there are five books on my professional summer reading list. This list includes books that will move me forward as a teacher, researcher, and leader, meaning the titles are grounded in my professional interests.
Robert Berry’s Professional Summer Reading List
For many of you, summer is a time for renewal, relaxing, refocusing, and reading. Please share your summer reading list on MyNCTM, and enjoy your summer.
Robert Q. Berry III
Thank you so much for your reading suggestions. Waiting to start my DT, I was thinking about how to better use this break time. Your reading suggestions helped me reflect that besides the subject I am about to teach, mathematics, there are other aspects in the classrooms that teachers must consider.