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ERIC Number: ED512852
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 240
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1092-4878-4
Toward an Equity Pedagogy for School Mathematics: An Investigation of Pre-Service Elementary Teachers' Conceptions
Johnson, Delayne Yvette
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Delaware
Increasing diversity in the United States has impacted the goals of education to focus greater attention on issues of race, culture, and equity. In school mathematics data indicate that African American, Latino, and Native American students continue to trail their White and Asian American peers on most measures of achievement and persistence and that these students lack access to mathematics education that allows them to thrive in school and society. Researchers and mathematics educators suggest that progress toward equity in mathematics education can be made when teachers of mathematics implement equity pedagogy that supports the mathematics learning and achievement of diverse learners. Teachers' knowledge of mathematics, their preparation to teach mathematics, and their beliefs about and skill for teaching diverse students are all aspects of equitable instruction. This study investigated conceptions of equity held by pre-service elementary teachers who were enrolled in a mathematics methods course. These pre-service teachers' discourse with respect to race in the context of mathematics education was also investigated with specific attention to if and how they addressed race and their explanations of why race was or was not addressed with respect to equity in school mathematics. The practical objective of the study is to determine pre-service teachers' existing conceptions, knowledge, and dispositions in order to identify the ways in which they can be further supported in learning to teach for equity in school mathematics. In the first stage of the study data collected through a questionnaire were used to determine participants' conceptions of equity in mathematics education and to identify participants as Silent or Vocal on issues of race in this context. Data analyses indicated that pre-service elementary teachers in this study, who were mostly White females, held narrow conceptions of equity that largely focused upon equity in terms of equality. Further, while participants attended to issues of gender and socioeconomic status with respect to equity in school mathematics, attention to issues of racial equity were less prevalent. In the second stage of the study, participants' conceptions of equity were further examined through interviews. Interviews were used to investigate participants' discourse about race in mathematics and their explanations of why race was or was not addressed. Data analyses from the second stage indicated that these pre-service elementary teachers did not address race because they feared offending others or being labeled racist, believed that race was not relevant to mathematics, and had limited opportunities to address issues of racial equity during their teacher education program. These results indicate that in order to learn to teach for equity in school mathematics pre-service teachers require greater opportunities to broaden their conceptions of equity and to engage in discourse that allows them to gain insight into the ways in which race does or does not matter in mathematics education. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States