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ERIC Number: EJ1001880
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0895-6855
Whose Community Is This? Mathematics of Neighborhood Displacement
Gutstein, Eric
Rethinking Schools, v27 n3 p11-17 Spr 2013
Displacement was part of students' realities--gentrification in North Lawndale (a Chicago community), deportation in Little Village, and foreclosures in both. The author started the unit in his 12th-grade "math for social justice" class by telling the story (with family permission) of Carmen, a student in his class. Her grandmother paid off her North Lawndale mortgage years before but, because of rising property taxes and a leaking roof, took out a subprime (adjustable) home equity loan. When the rate set upwards, she lost the house. To study displacement, students initially learned discrete dynamical systems (DDS). The author started by teaching students to use a DDS to model an interest-bearing savings account and gave them an assignment to put their knowledge to use. In the second part of the unit--immigration and deportation--students investigated the complicated role of the U.S. government and NAFTA in displacing Mexican farmers from their land to the "maquiladoras" along the U.S.-Mexico border, and eventually to South Lawndale--where displacement for unauthorized migrants does not just mean out of the neighborhood, but out of the country itself. These units were based on interconnected mathematical and political analyses. In the author's view, this provides a basis for multiracial solidarity, which will be needed in order to "read and write the world--with and without mathematics."
Rethinking Schools, Ltd. 1001 East Keefe Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53212. Tel: 414-964-9646; Fax: 414-964-7220; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 12; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois