Texas State study to focus on understanding math participation in bilingual classrooms

Research & Innovation

Charlcee Cervantez | June 20, 2023

two young hispanic children writing in classroom setting
hinestroza headshot
José Martínez Hinestroza

José Martínez Hinestroza, an assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Texas State University, has been awarded the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) grant to study how perceptions influence how teachers, future teachers and researchers assess bilingual children’s use of their languages and participation in mathematical activity.

The five-year, $860,000 award, will support his study, “Affirming Bilingual Children’s Participation in Mathematics.” Martínez Hinestroza will serve as the principal investigator. The participatory research will include a collaboration between Texas State and the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District.

The CAREER program offers the NSF’s most prestigious awards in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. Martínez Hinestroza is the first faculty member in the College of Education to receive a CAREER grant and said he hopes this opens a pathway for other faculty to apply.

“I’m interested in figuring out how researchers and teachers can honor children’s ways of participating so that we can create more inclusive and more nurturing mathematics classrooms for bilingual children,” Martínez Hinestroza said. “The children can help us push some of the theoretical constructs that are sometimes used in research in ways that may or may not align with the richness of children's mathematical activity.”

Additionally, the study could improve bilingual children’s well-being by helping teachers develop math classrooms where children can participate on their own terms. The project will also equip teachers and teachers in training with the research capacity to transform their classrooms beyond the project’s duration. 

In addition to research, an educational plan will be implemented from the findings. This will be done by creating online modules that other math educators can use in their courses to prepare future teachers to approach bilingual children’s ways of participating. 

“Getting the proposal done was a lot of work, and it has been in the making for years,” Martínez Hinestroza said. “But I want to make sure others see that it is possible, and there is support in the college and university for the process.” 

Martínez Hinestroza will begin his research in Fall 2023. 

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922