Teaching Mathematics and Science Through a Social Justice Lens





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.


Author Biographies

Roland Ghollam Pourdavood

College of Education & Human Services Department of Teacher Education Professor of Mathematics Education

Meng Yan, Cleveland State University

About the Authors:

Roland G. Pourdavood is a professor of mathematics education at Cleveland State University, Department of Teacher Education. His research interests include mathematics teachers’ dialogue and reflection for transformation and school reform. In addition, he focuses on cultural diversity, socio-cultural aspects of education, and emancipatory action research for personal and social praxis.


Meng Yan is a third-year doctoral student of learning and development in urban education at Cleveland State University. Her current research interests include curriculum development and instruction, teacher immediacy and teacher-student relationship, motivation, parenting style and student well-being. She is also interested in second language acquisition, bilingualism, and the relationship between language and thought.


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