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Culture, Identity, and Equity in the Mathematics Classroom

  • Paul CobbEmail author
  • Lynn Liao Hodge
Chapter
Part of the Mathematics Education Library book series (MELI, volume 48)

Abstract

In this article, we frame issues of equity in term of the relations between the specifically mathematical practices established in the classroom on the one hand, and the practices of students’ local, home communities and of the broader groups to which they belong in wider society on the other hand. In the first part of the article, we discuss how the practices of these various groups and communities might be characterized by drawing on Wenger’s (1998) notion of a community of practice and Gee’s (1997) notion of a Discourse. Later in the article, we clarify that in addition to focusing on the continuities and contrasts between the practices of different communities, the relational perspective also encompasses issues of both power and identity. As we illustrate, the gatekeeping role that mathematics plays in students’ access to educational and economic opportunities is not limited to differences in the ways of knowing associated with participation in the practices of different communities. Instead, it also includes difficulties that students experience in reconciling their views of themselves and who they want to become with the identities that they are invited to construct in the mathematics classroom.

Keywords

Normative identity Core identity Personal identity Discourse Equity Community of practice 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.University of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA

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