"Subversive Teaching?  Mathematics Teachers Using Creative Insubordination to Address

Social Justice"

 Rochelle Gutiérrez, PhD
Professor, Mathematics Education
Department of Curriculum & Instruction
Latina/Latino Studies
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Reception: 4:00 p.m.– 4:30 p.m

Sponsored by SDSU's College of Education in the Montezuma Lounge

 Lecture: 4:30 p.m.– 6:00 p.m.

San Diego State University, Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union, Montezuma Theatre


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.

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