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Teaching and Learning Mathematics for Social Justice in an Urban, Latino School

Eric Gutstein 

January 2003, Volume 34, Issue 1, Page 37

This article reports on a 2-year study about teaching and learning mathematics for social justice in an urban, Latino classroom and about the role of an NCTM Standardsbased curriculum. I was the teacher in the study and moved with the class from seventh to eighth grade. Using qualitative, practitioner-research methodology, I learned that students began to read the world (understand complex issues involving justice and  equity) using mathematics, to develop mathematical power, and to change their orientation toward mathematics. A series of real-world projects was fundamental to this change, but the Standards-based curriculum was also important; such curricula  can theoretically promote equity, but certain conditions may need to exist. Social justice pedagogy broadens the concept of equity work in mathematics classrooms and may help promote a more just society.

Grade 7
Grade 8
Linking Research and Practice
Conceptual Development
Math Coordinator / Coach
Numbers and Operations
Reasoning and Proof