Mathematics for Social Justice: Teachers’ Narratives and Reflective Encounters
Group Presentation: Wakeman Kathryne, Maryam Adrangi, Tanya Noble, Emily Macalister, Latika Raisinghani, Chorney Sean
Session E | 11:05 – 11:45 | Location: Room 310
Mathematics and social justice are often positioned as separate fields of investigation. However, as teachers and learners of mathematics, we not only see a need for a social justice lens in questioning the privileged position mathematics has in education, but also we see mathematics in a unique position to illuminate issues of poverty, discrimination and other inequities in our world. We argue that by connecting mathematics with social justice issues, we challenge the neutrality and universalism of which mathematics is often associated with, and create a space for a greater variety of students to engage with mathematics that relates with their own socio-political-cultural contexts.
We adopt a social justice stance outlined by the joint statement of the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics and TODOS: Mathematics for ALL. Both of these organizations acknowledge that ‘a social justice stance requires a systemic approach that includes fair and equitable teaching practices, high expectations for all students, access to rich, rigorous and relevant mathematics, and strong family/community relationships to promote positive mathematics learning and achievement. Equally important, a socially just stance interrogates and challenge the roles power, privilege, and oppression play in the current unjust system of mathematics education—and in society as a whole.’ (http://www.todos-math.org/socialjustice)
In this interactive session, we present projects and ideas that we have implemented in local mathematics classrooms. By sharing our stories of the challenges, successes as well as students’ engagement and feedback, we hope to show what teaching mathematics for social justice might look like and begin a conversation about the purpose, the meaning and the results from approaching mathematics teaching in this way. We hope to have a discussion encompassing all levels of mathematics education. We welcome all educators who are passionate about teaching and learning mathematics for social justice and thereby, enabling our students to make this world a better place to live and learn for all.