"Subversive Teaching?  Mathematics Teachers Using Creative Insubordination to AddressSocial Justice" Rochelle Gutiérrez, PhDProfessor, Mathematics EducationDepartment of Curriculum & InstructionLatina/Latino StudiesUniversity of Illinois at…Continue

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Eight Critical Issues About STEM Education and the Economy

A forum on how STEM education interrelates with economics and social equity…


Posted by Nadine Bezuk on August 31, 2010 at 3:00pm




TO REGISTER FOR THE MAY 5, 2016, Joint CRMSE Lecture with Dr. Rochelle Gutiérrez:


SDSU's Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education (CRMSE) and the STEM Education, Economics, and Equity (SEEE) Seminar Series presents a joint Distinguished Lecturer Series:   "Subversive Teaching?  Mathematics Teachers Using Creative Insubordination to Address Social Justice," on Thursday, May 5, 4:00-6:00 PM, at San Diego State University. 

See Maps/Directions for directions and free parking information.

Attendance is free--A voluntary donation of $10 to offset expenses is welcomed at the door.

Schedule on Thursday, May 5, 2016: 

4:00 - 4:30 pm Reception sponsored by the College of Education at San Diego State University, Montezuma Lounge, Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union

4:30 - 6:00 pm LectureSubversive Teaching?  Mathematics Teachers Using Creative Insubordination to Address Social Justice, at SDSU's Montezuma Theatre, Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union.

Speaker:  Dr. Rochelle GutiérrezProfessor of Mathematics Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Latina/Latino Studies, at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Most teachers strive to make a positive impact on all of their students, but schooling contexts can change that. High stakes testing, Response to Intervention initiatives, Race to the Top campaigns, Common Core State Standards, new teacher evaluation systems, and the latest packaged reforms can keep teachers from acting on what is in the best interest of students and their learning.  Even when teachers do not agree with a school policy or they face colleagues who hold low expectations for students, they may not feel prepared to take a stand.  After all, most teacher education programs do not focus on preparing their graduates for the politics of school contexts or knowing how to strategically take risks in their teaching.  So, what might the work of teaching look like if teachers had professional development in the area of the politics of teaching?  How might they view their roles as teachers and what actions might they take?

With funding from the National Science Foundation, I have been working with a group of teachers over the past 6 years to develop their political knowledge and their propensity to take risks on behalf of their students.  These teachers advocate for their historically marginalized students (students who are Black, Latin@, emergent bilinguals, recent immigrants, etc.) to learn rigorous, creative, and meaningful mathematics and to develop more robust mathematical identities. I will report on the politics of teaching mathematics; the ways in which these teachers view the profession and their roles within it; as well as how they interact with colleagues, administrators, and others so that they are successful in advocating for youth and themselves.


See Maps/Directions for directions and free parking information.

More information about our Speaker:  Dr. Rochelle Gutiérrez’ research focuses on equity in mathematics education, race/class/language issues in teaching and learning mathematics, effective teacher communities, and the kinds of political knowledge that mathematics teachers need to negotiate high stakes education.  She has served as a member of the RAND National Mathematics Study Panel and the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Increasing Urban High School Students’ Engagement and Motivation to Learn, and is currently on the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators’ Standards Writing Team. Pace University recognized her as a Distinguished Educator in the Pedagogy of Success in Urban Schools.  In 2011, the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators awarded her the Excellence in Research Award for the work she has conducted and the theories on equity she has offered to the field. On a Fulbright fellowship, she studied secondary mathematics teachers in Zacatecas, México, where she was able to document the different cultural practices and algorithms used in Mexican classrooms.  Her work has been published in such journals as Mathematical Thinking and Learning, Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, Harvard Educational Review, Democracy and Education, Urban Review, and Mathematics Teacher.  Before and throughout graduate school, she taught middle and high school mathematics to adolescents in East San José, California.


STEM Education, Economics, and Equity (SEEE): A Leadership Education Initiative

This initiative offers a series of seminars centered on presentations by economists, political scientists, educators, and leading thinkers who are experts on some of the "big questions" about how science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education relates to economics and social  equity.  Each seminar includes a talk and a subsequent discussion held by a panel of local leaders who will raise questions and reactions to the presenters’ ideas.  Transcriptions of these talks and discussions will be posted in this website hosting an online forum which will gather ongoing contributions from diverse participants, links to other resources, and accompanying materials.  We anticipate two seminars per year for a period of five years.  The initiative is led by an editorial committee, including members from different constituencies such as universities, school districts, and businesses.  This editorial committee looks for funds to support the initiative while preserving total autonomy in decision making, such as in deciding on speakers to invite and on the structure of the website.

Many parents, educators, administrators, politicians, and businessmen worry about the state of STEM education and strive to support programs and policies to improve its quality and broaden access.   Over the years numerous debates have spread across the nation on which programs and policies are more likely to foster students' quality preparation and interest in mathematics, science, and engineering.   Many of these efforts take the form of exposing leaders and stakeholders to selected programs, innovations, and evaluations in an effort to ascertain which ones are the most deserving of support.  These types of activities are useful because they help familiarize leaders with an array of ongoing initiatives taking place in formal and informal education.  However, they rarely elicit discussions about the "big questions" that ultimately must orient educational reform, such as:

  • Economics.  How does economic development at local, regional, and national levels relate to the state of STEM education?  How does a nation's investment in STEM education translate into economic and cultural benefits for its population? In what ways does formal education impact the availability of an educated workforce in a certain geographical region? 
  • Equity.  How do changes in demography and cultural roots of the population affect and are affected by STEM education?  What does the educational and economic history of the country tell us about these matters? What makes STEM education more or less relevant to the life of culturally diverse students?  How does testing affect the educational trajectory of students across cultural and economic differences?
  • Educational Policy.  What are the trade-offs between centralized and local control on education?  What are major differences between liberal and conservative "agendas" regarding STEM education?  In what ways do educational policies facilitate or impede the contributions of informal institutions (e.g. after school programs, museums, community centers) to STEM education?  How do teacher constituencies position regarding policy initiatives proposed at national and state levels?

While we will pursue broad attendance and participation in the seminars, the main desired impact of the initiative is not necessarily media attention but educational leadership.   We hope that over the years this initiative will offer support for political, economic, and educational leaders in Southern California to become better educated on the different viewpoints at the intersections between STEM education, economics, and culture.  Furthermore, we expect that this richer and deeper understanding will help catalyze other initiatives striving to influence educational policies in Sacramento and Washington, as well as local innovations benefiting students and families in the San Diego area.


The Editorial Committee is formed by:

  1. Penny Adler, Education Committee, League of Women Voters - San Diego
  2. Mike ChapinRetired CEO, Geocon, Inc.
  3. Luke Duesbery, Director, San Diego State University (SDSU) Center for Teaching Critical Thinking & Creativity (CTCTC)
  4. Barbara Edwards, Director, Math for America San Diego
  5. Jacque Nevels, Education Committee, League of Women Voters - San Diego
  6. Ellen Peneski, Former Executive Director, San Diego Science Alliance
  7. Randy Philipp, Director, SDSU CRMSE
  8. Joi Spencer, Associate Dean, University of San Diego (USD) School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES)
  9. Bill Zahner, Associate Director, SDSU Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education (CRMSE)


We welcome any support you can give the SEEE Seminar Series.

To make a donation:

1) Click the button below.

2) Enter the donation amount and check "Choose areas of designation."

4) In the popup window, scroll down to check "Other", and click "Continue".

5) Type SEEE Seminar Series c/o CRMSE in the box below "Selected Designations."

6) Fill out the rest of the form.

As an alternative, you can download this flyer, print it, and mail in your donation.

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