What is CEMELA?
The Center for the Mathematics Education of Latinos/as (CEMELA) addresses the mathematics education needs of the largest and rapidly-growing "minority" group in the country, a diverse group that has one of the most disturbing and persistent patterns of academic achievement. Given the unique language, social, and political issues associated with Latino/a students and communities, a multidisciplinary approach will be used to adequately and appropriately address their needs.
The goal of CEMELA is to advance the field of mathematics education by a) developing an integrated model that connects mathematics teaching and learning to the cultural, social, and linguistic contexts of Latino/a students and b) increasing the number of mathematics educators and teachers with this integrated knowledge to ultimately improve the mathematics education of working class Latinos/as. To achieve this goal, CEMELA brings together experts in mathematics education, mathematics, language, and culture.
CEMELA will deepen the knowledge base of mathematics education research, policy, and practice. Its work will be relevant not only to Latinos but also to other groups of linguistically and culturally diverse students through its development of theory and practice for how to turn language and cultural diversity into educational assets for the mathematics education of all students. The Center's expertise and innovations in research, teacher education, and parental involvement will be shared with the larger scholarly community. The Center's faculty has an established record in multidisciplinary research in mathematics education, advanced degree programs, and pre- and in-service teacher education, all with a focus on mathematics learning and teaching with Latino/a populations. The Center intentionally includes diverse geographical contexts (borderlands, urban, migrant agricultural, and rural) that capture the corresponding diversity of educational and cultural experiences among Latinos/as.