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ERIC Number: EJ1014881
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1068-3844
Making Learning to Problem-Solve Count: Critical Use of Mathematics to Bring about Social Justice
Lucey, Thomas A.; Tanase, Madalina
Multicultural Education, v19 n4 p8-13 Sum 2012
This article focuses on the potential relevance of mathematical conceptions to justice-oriented teaching. The authors believe that culturally responsive mathematics teaching requires the holding of high expectations for students' engagement in critical thinking abilities by respecting their backgrounds and engaging their contemplation and analysis of the mathematical relationships that characterize their environments. The authors indicate that developing a broad awareness of content and its interdisciplinary nature represents a necessary step toward conceptualizing the interconnected nature of humanity and the global community in which it resides. In order to create these rich learning opportunities, elementary, middle-level, and high-school preservice and in-service teachers must realize the connections among mathematics, financial literacy, and social justice issues. The authors consider that this knowledge must be applied in ways that empower students. Mathematics and financial literacy can be empowering concepts for understanding and combating social injustices and fulfilling educators' responsibilities for empowering socially marginalized students. To help inform the educational community about these issues, the authors discuss literature that supports these processes, they describe a classroom approach for implementation, and provide a model lesson. The literature section explores the currently narrow conceptions of mathematics typically held by preservice teachers, and postulates the need to foster alternative conceptions in which mathematics becomes a tool for engendering justice-oriented thinking. The authors also explain the terms "democratic mathematics" and "critical mathematics" in order to present Borich's (2011) cooperative classroom approach, an approach which enables teachers' facilitation of students' critical perspective of social injustices. The article concludes with an example of classroom application of Borich's approach, through which students can identify a social concern (i.e., unjust education funding), discuss the conventional and justice-oriented perspectives on this social issue, and further examine available mathematical patterns that support each point of view. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A