Marta Civil -
Department of Mathematics - The University of Arizona

PhD - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Department of Mathematics
617 N. Santa Rita
The University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721 - 0089

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My research in mathematics education spreads over two areas: teacher education and equity in mathematics education. In particular my focus is on a socio-cultural approach to the mathematics education of ethnic and language minority students (school age and adults).
My overall research interest in teacher education is in the area of elementary teachers' (preservice and practicing) understanding of and beliefs about mathematics, its teaching and its learning. Four of my current / recent research projects are:

  1. CEMELA (Center for the Mathematics Education of Latinos/as) is a NSF-funded Center for Learning and Teaching. It is an interdisciplinary, multi-university consortium (The University of Arizona, University of California Santa Cruz, University of Illinois at Chicago, The University of New Mexico) focused on the research and practice of the teaching of mathematics to Latino/a students in the United States. CEMELA brings together together experts in mathematics education, mathematics, language, and culture to collaboratively work on improving the mathematics education of low-income Latino/a students.
  2. MAPPS (Math and Parent Partnerships in the Southwest) is a NSF-funded project on parental involvement in mathematics education.The project activities involve leadership development for teams of parents and teachers/administrators, Math for Parents mini courses and Math Awareness Workshops open to all parents / family members in the district community.
  3. Girls in the SYSTEM (Sustaining Youth in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is a NSF-funded project that seeks to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education for girls in grades 3 - 8, especially Mexican American, Native American and economically underprivileged girls in southern Arizona.
  4. Project Bridge (Linking home and school: A bridge to the many faces of mathematicsis a research endeavor that combines professional development for a small number of teachers/researchers and the development of teaching innovations in mathematics instruction. A basic premise in project Bridge is a rejection of the deficit model for the education of minority and working-class students(i.e. a model that assumes these students lack adequate experiences and background for formal schooling). Instead we capitalize on the knowledge that these students bring to the classroom (uncovered through ethnographic household visits) and work on developing mathematically rich learning experiences that build on these children's experiences. This project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education/OERI.

I have taught precalculus, mathematics courses for business majors, and mathematics courses for elementary and secondary education majors, and for practicing teachers. My most frequent teaching assignment is mathematics teacher education courses. I have developed and taught several courses for practicing elementary and middle school teachers (algebra, geometry, and technology in mathematics teaching and learning). I also teach graduate level courses on research in mathematics education. I am particularly interested in participatory approaches to the teaching of mathematics. My teaching approach involves small group discussions, hands on activities, and use of technology.

Teaching Page

Selected Publications and Papers
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Email:   Marta Civil

This page was last updated on:
April 2008