In addition to being profiled in the film “Stand and Deliver”, Jaime Escalante had his own television program on PBS in the 1990s. Scientists, astronauts, engineers and celebrities visited his classroom and talked with his students about how math is used every day in a wide variety of careers. The series was one of the most popular PBS programs and was watched in thousands of classrooms every week.
Shortly after the release of The Abyss, director James Cameron visited Jaime Escalante’s math classroom for an episode of the popular PBS series: Futures with Jaime Escalante.
What’s remarkable is that though STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) was not a buzzword 20 years ago, James’ message to students could be repeated word for word today and be just as accurate and topical.
Watch a video interview in which Jaime Escalante talks about what it takes to succeed at one of the most important jobs.
In 1974, Mr. Escalante was hired as a basic mathematics teacher at Garfield High School, a troubled inner-city school in East Los Angeles. He attracted national attention with his spectacular success teaching advanced mathematics to gang members and other students who had been considered “unteachable.”
In this personal account, Jaime Escalante lays out the fundamental principles that are the foundation of his teaching methods and provides a detailed overview of the famous Escalante Math Program at Garfield High in East Los Angeles. This article was first published in the Journal of Negro Education in 1990.