When faced with the challenge of supporting students to do the “messy” mathematical work necessary for exploring social justice problems through critical mathematical inquiry, teachers might rely on more procedural or direct instruction. Because how students learn matters as much as what they learn, this can inadvertently limit students’ engagement with mathematics. Instructional strategies designed to foster equitable collaboration can support critical mathematical inquiry by promoting norms for equitable student engagement and mathematics identity development. As teachers and students negotiate what counts as mathematics engagement and who has access to mathematics, students’ authority over mathematics and social justice issues increases.

Author Biography

Frances K. Harper

Frances K. Harper is an assistant professor of STEM education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her research broadly focuses on issues of equity and social justice in mathematics education and mathematics teacher education. She strives to understand K-12 students’ experiences with equity- minded mathematics teaching. In particular, herwork focuses on how complex instruction, a particular equity-minded approach to collaborative learning, and teaching mathematics for social justice, the integration of mathematics and social justice goals, support girls and students of color to see themselves and to be seen as confident and capable learners and doers of mathematics.



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