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Rehumanizing Mathematics

Rochelle Gutiérrez
6:30 p.m. - June 20, 2018

MAA Carriage House

1781 Church St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

Space is limited. Please click here to RSVP for this lecture.


For far too long, we have embraced an “equity” standpoint that has been poorly defined (Gutiérrez, 2002) or constantly shifting (NCTM, 2008). It has been difficult to assess progress beyond closing the achievement gap or recruiting more diverse students into the mathematical sciences. Instead, we should rehumanize mathematics, which considers not just access and achievement, but the politics in teaching and mathematics. This approach begins with 1) acknowledging some of the dehumanizing experiences in mathematics for students and teachers and 2) how students could be provided with windows and mirrors onto the world and ways of relating to each other with dignity. I present eight dimensions of a rehumanized mathematics classroom: participation/positioning; cultures/histories; windows/mirrors; living practice; broadening maths; creation; body/emotions; and ownership. Then, I offer ways for mathematicians and mathematics educators to take risks in ensuring those dimensions happen in small and large ways. Then we can begin to think differently about student misconceptions, teachers as identity workers, and why it is not just that diverse people need mathematics but mathematics needs diverse people (Gutiérrez, 2002; 2012).

Dr. Rochelle Gutiérrez is currently Professor of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education at the University of Illinois. Dr. Gutiérrez' scholarship focuses on equity issues in mathematics education, paying particular attention to how race, class, and language affect teaching and learning. Through in-depth analyses of effective teaching/learning communities and longitudinal studies of developing and practicing teachers, her work challenges deficit views of students who are Latinx, Black, and/or Indigenous and suggests that mathematics teachers need to be prepared with much more than just content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, or knowledge of diverse students if they are going to be successful.