Equity in mathematics education

Laura Jacobsen Spielman, Radford University, has written an article called Equity in mathematics education: unions and intersections of feminist and social justice literature. The article was published online in ZDM last week, and it takes up the discussion concerning gender equity. As a theoretical background, the author integrates theoretical perspectives from feminist and social justice literature. Here is the abstract of the article:

Traditional models of gender equity incorporating deficit frameworks and creating norms based on male experiences have been challenged by models emphasizing the social construction of gender and positing that women may come to know things in different ways from men. This paper draws on the latter form of feminist theory while treating gender equity in mathematics as intimately interconnected with equity issues by social class and ethnicity. I integrate feminist and social justice literature in mathematics education and argue that to secure a transformative, sustainable impact on equity, we must treat mathematics as an integral component of a larger system producing educated citizens. I argue the need for a mathematics education with tri-fold support for mathematical literacy, critical literacy, and community literacy. Respectively, emphases are on mathematics, social critique, and community relations and actions. Currently, the integration of these three literacies is extremely limited in mathematics.

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