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Publication Detail
Teaching mathematics for social justice: translating theory into classroom practice
  • Publication Type:
    Conference
  • Authors:
    Wright P
  • Publisher:
    British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics
  • Publication date:
    2014
  • Pagination:
    375, 382
  • Published proceedings:
    Proceedings of the 8th British Congress of Mathematics Education 2014
  • Conference place:
    UK
  • Keywords:
    mathematics education, social justice, action research
Abstract
There is growing consensus, amongst teachers, teacher educators and researchers, that a more engaging and relevant school mathematics curriculum is needed, with greater emphasis on problem-solving skills and the development of conceptual understanding. Too much focus on factual recall and procedural understanding has led to unacceptable levels of disengagement and disaffection amongst learners. This paper reports on initial findings from a project involving a group of teacher researchers who share a commitment to addressing the alienation of learners, raising their awareness of the nature of mathematics and the reason for learning it, developing student agency and an appreciation of how mathematics can be used to better understand the world around them. I make use of a participatory action research methodology to explore how being part of a research group can help teachers to begin to develop their classroom practice in ways which resonate with a commitment to teaching mathematics for social justice. I identify four themes emerging from an analysis of an initial series of semi-structured empathetic interviews with the teacher researchers that provide a useful theoretical framework for the development of the project and useful insight for others wishing to carry out research in a similar field.
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