Delegating Mathematical Authority as a Means to Strive Toward Equity


  • Teresa K. Dunleavy University of San Diego, San Diego State University, University of Washington



delegating mathematical authority, equitable teaching and learning practices, mathematics education


In this article, the author provides insight into the pedagogical processes for delegating mathematical authority to students, through the use of specific classroom structures, as a means to strive toward equity. Employing qualitative methods, the author analyzes transcripts of classroom video, along with field notes and teacher and student interviews, collected during one semester of the participating teacher's Algebra I course. The author addresses how the teacher's practice was striving toward equity through the use of classroom structures that delegated mathematical authority to students. Analyses revealed that the teacher delegated mathematical authority through the use of student presentations, Shuffle Quizzes, and Participation Quizzes. Each instance featured was chosen to highlight a different facet of the ways in which delegating authority repositioned students as competent sense-makers.


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Author Biography

Teresa K. Dunleavy, University of San Diego, San Diego State University, University of Washington

Working toward equity in mathematics education. I am particularly interested in the process of teachers delegating mathematical authority to their students and the development of social and sociomathematical norms that mediate students' perceptions of and displays of competence. I use an analytic framework coordinating status and positioning theories to analyze classroom interactions. Ph.D. University of Washington, Seattle, March 2013