Teaching Mathematics and Science Through a Social Justice Lens
Keywords:mathematics and science, social justice, teaching and learning
Teaching mathematics and science embedded in social justice is not a familiar concept for many teachers, especially pre-service teachers. This qualitative, descriptive, and interpretative study examines the experiences and reflections of 26 middle grade and secondary pre-service mathematics and science teachers on teaching and learning mathematics and science through the social justice lens as they took a semester-long course concurrently with their student-teaching. The primary research question was, “How may a semester-long course focusing on teaching and learning mathematics and science with social justice awareness provide pre-service teachers with opportunities to reflect on and change their teaching practices?” Data included researchers’ field notes and participating pre-service teachers’ verbal discussions, written reflections, and classroom presentations. The findings suggest that teaching mathematics and science in the context of social justice enhanced the pre-services teachers’ awareness of educational opportunity and equity. The findings also indicate teaching mathematics and science from the social justice perspective requires a paradigm shift in teaching and learning. Furthermore, the study exposes the limitations of the current school structure and culture for meaningful learning, the limitations of existing curricula and state-mandated texts, and the lack of adequate resources in teaching mathematics and science in social justice contexts.
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