Park City Mathematics Institute
Social Justice in Mathematics
Project Abstract
Access to Tasks for All Learners
Grade Level(s): K-12
Authors: Becky Bob-Waksberg, Kristy Gallo, Andrew Rodriguez
Our project is a call to PCMI to embed access for all students in our professional conversations-with the idea that it would support teachers as they have those conversations in our local context. The first part of our project involved our own conversations with various stakeholders about access and equity and their place in PCMI. We then used those conversations to form the second part of our project: an access toolbox that discusses (a) misconceptions around access and equity and (b) implementation strategies for teachers that will enhance access in their classrooms, as well as for ROP and other PD facilitators.
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Common Core Clusters for Grades 6-8 and "Real-World" Social Justice Connections
Grade Level(s): 6-8
Authors: Julie R. Wright (@julierwright)
As part of our work at PCMI in 2017, teachers discussed the need to involve students in rich inquiry tasks in which they engage in math with high cognitive demand, connections to their lived experience, and development of their identities as mathematicians and as citizens. Using math to explore issues of social justice and propose solutions can be a powerful way to meet all of these criteria, but it can be difficult for teachers to develop tasks around social justice that are suited to students’ individual interests, local issues, or timely concerns and also meet the math goals for the class. This document is intended to help teachers choose tasks, or give students a framework to choose tasks, that fit particular Common Core math standards.
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The Algebra Project - Mathematics as a human experience and a civil rights issue
Grade Level(s): High School
Authors: Kate Belin
This work is influenced by the following. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics states that "addressing equity and access includes both ensuring that all students attain mathematics proficiency and increasing the numbers of students from all racial, ethnic, linguistic, gender, and socioeconomic groups who attain the highest levels of mathematics achievement" (2014). The Algebra Project is a nonprofit organization that uses mathematics as an organizing tool to ensure quality public school education for every child in America by targeting students who perform in the lowest quartile nationally and was founded in 1982 by civil rights activist Bob Moses.
In our working group, we have been discussing issues of equity, access, agency and identity in mathematics classrooms. For this project, I have created a conference presentation. The goal is to highlight one activity from the Algebra Project's Symmetry unit and use it to discuss a key feature of the pedagogy - that mathematical concepts emerge from our human experiences. While this should be emphasized in classrooms across our nation, it is particularly important to position the personal experience of underrepresented populations at the center of the learning environment. This conference presentation is a workshop model that requires at least 90 minutes and is open to any educator interested in the issues discussed above, especially teachers who serve the target population. The workshop will be offered for the first time at Big Picture Learning's annual Big Bang conference this July 25 - 28, 2017.
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Social Justice in Mathematics
Grade Level(s): 7-12
Authors: Oyinka Bruce
Social Justice is currently a "buzz" phrase that includes everything from equitable treatment in mathematics classrooms, access to advanced courses, differentiation, culturally- relevant pedagogy, empowerment of all learners, and many more topics designed by advocates with good intentions. How do we do it? How do we create a classroom that ensures fair treatment for all students? How do we create a community where students take agency over their learning? What on earth do these phrases agency and identity refer to? I have prepared a framework to think about social justice in the math classroom. This presentation is designed to address the causes that brought about the need for social justice reform, the arms of social justice strategies that can be implemented in the classroom, and the benefits of these strategies.
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