Well-prepared beginning teachers of mathematics realize that the social, historical, and institutional contexts of mathematics affect teaching and learning and know about and are committed to their critical roles as advocates for each and every student.
Effective teachers are attuned to the specific strengths and backgrounds of each of their students. They build on a student’s current mathematical ideas and ways of knowing and learning, including attending to the student’s culture, race/ethnicity, language, gender, socioeconomic status, cognitive and physical abilities, and personal interests. They also attend to developing positive mathematical identities and agency among their students. Such understanding is particularly important at the early childhood level, when children take their first steps from their home lives to the world of formal education. Therefore, we have a critical elaboration of this standard focused on the knowledge and contexts specific to the early childhood level.