Home /  Critical Issues in Mathematics Education 2018: Access to mathematics by opening doors for students currently excluded from mathematics


Critical Issues in Mathematics Education 2018: Access to mathematics by opening doors for students currently excluded from mathematics February 21, 2018 - February 23, 2018
Registration Deadline: March 19, 2018 over 6 years ago
To apply for Funding you must register by: November 21, 2017 over 6 years ago
Parent Program: --
Series: Critical Issues
Location: SLMath: Eisenbud Auditorium, Baker Board Room, Atrium
Organizers Aditya Adiredja (University of Arizona), LEAD Julia Aguirre (University of Washington - Tacoma), Kate Belin (Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School), LEAD Ricardo Cortez (Tulane University), Michael Driskill (Math for America ), Nicole Joseph (Vanderbilt University), Katherine Stevenson (California State University, Northridge), Francis Su (Harvey Mudd College), Maria del Rosario Zavala (San Francisco State University)

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Our mathematics education system is inequitable. It operates in ways that leave a significant proportion of students with negative mathematics experiences and inadequate mathematical preparation. The problem is historical and systemic, and the students most disaffected by the current system are overwhelmingly Black and Latino, Indigenous, poor, women, immigrant or first generation college students. If our mathematics community is to sustainably grow and thrive, mathematics education at all levels must be transformed. This workshop focuses on students for whom we do not yet successfully ensure access to and advancement in mathematics. Sessions will share relevant programmatic efforts and innovative research that have been shown to maintain or increase students’ engagement and interests in mathematics across k-12, undergraduate and graduate education. The sessions will focus particularly on reproducible efforts that affirm those students’ identities and their diverse intellectual resources and lived experiences. These efforts at various levels of mathematics education will highlight ways in which meaningful experiences in mathematics can disrupt ongoing systemic oppression. Participants will leave with conceptual and practical ways to open up and elevate mathematics education where all students thrive. The following questions will frame the structure of the workshop: Critically examining and challenging the system of mathematics as gatekeeper: How is mathematics positioned as a gatekeeper/door in K-12, undergraduate, graduate STEM education?   Who gets through the door and who doesn’t? Why? Who controls the flow? Do we unintentionally close doors on some students? How do we reflect and assess our actions within the current system? What is at stake specifically for me and for the mathematics profession in general, if access to mathematics continues to be limited for select groups of people? How do we interrogate and challenge current institutional systems, practices and underlying values (e.g., placement testing, mathematics content, curriculum tracking, and “weed out” courses) that determine what mathematics is studied and how mathematics is experienced, particularly for those historically marginalized because of race, class, gender, disability, and language?   What is our role as mathematicians, mathematics educators, and mathematics teachers in regulating the access to mathematical learning and teaching spaces (e.g., classrooms, office hours, tutoring centers, and informal interactions)? Is there consensus on the purposes of such mathematical spaces? What do those who feel excluded from these spaces want from them? Developing a vision for a more open, just, and humane mathematics education: Do open, fair, humane, and just mathematics education systems exist? What do they look like? What are key principles and practices of these systems? To cultivate mathematics as a thriving discipline, we must understand what institutional structures, pedagogies and expected outcomes are needed and how they affect students’ identities, sense of themselves, and their mathematical literacy and skills. Which aspects of our institution/field/discipline do we want to uphold, and which do we want to change? Are there multiple pathways to mathematical advancement? For instance, how might we rethink the hierarchical or linear sequencing of mathematics courses while maintaining rigor, access, and enjoyment for our students? Are specific priorities, such as those placed on algebraic proficiency or on placement tests to gain entry into college courses, consistent with the values we want to uphold? What customs and practices in mathematics education are institutionalized in ways that lead to the systematic mistreatment of certain groups? What are the effects of this structural oppression and how can they be reversed? What would math education environments look like in the absence of these customs and practices? What are the roles and responsibilities of mathematicians, mathematics educators, and teachers in creating such a vision? Taking action: It is everyone’s responsibility to take action that leads to positive change. We want participants to leave the workshop with concrete actions they can take at their own institutions and beyond to create and sustain open, enriching, and anti-oppressive spaces for mathematics where students can thrive. What efforts have been successful and for which students? What are challenges and lessons learned from these efforts? Are these efforts reproducible in other educational levels or in other populations? At the k-12 level, are there classroom-based, school-based or other local efforts that can be adapted to reach larger populations? How can we design and implement models (e.g., enrichment, bridge, co-requisite or stretch) that effectively counteract practices of placement, sorting, tracking and weeding? What can we learn from historical and contemporary activist movements to facilitate systemic change in mathematics education across k-12, undergraduate and graduate institutions? What are systematic efforts that have produced positive and sustained change? What are the details of these efforts with respect to the mathematics, instruction, and relationships with students? How do we use this information to establish a just system? What is the role of collaboration among mathematicians and mathematics educators in generating systemic change and holding ourselves accountable? Presentation Opportunity The 2018 CIME workshop organizers are soliciting abstracts for roundtable presentations on innovative activities or projects that disrupt injustice in the current mathematical education system and that help improve the culture of mathematics education.  Each speaker will present a 5-minute "Lightning Round" to briefly describe their work to the full audience of workshop participants.  At the conclusion of all the "Lightning Round" presentations, workshop participants will be invited to join presenters for a more in depth round table discussions on each topic. These discussions will last about 15 minutes and will be done three times back-to-back, allowing participants to weigh in on multiple topics.   Click HERE for more information and to submit an application. Advocating Diversity handout  
Keywords and Mathematics Subject Classification (MSC)
Primary Mathematics Subject Classification No Primary AMS MSC
Secondary Mathematics Subject Classification No Secondary AMS MSC
Funding & Logistics Show All Collapse

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To apply for funding, you must register by the funding application deadline displayed above.

Students, recent PhDs, women, and members of underrepresented minorities are particularly encouraged to apply. Funding awards are typically made 6 weeks before the workshop begins. Requests received after the funding deadline are considered only if additional funds become available.

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For information about recommended hotels for visits of under 30 days, visit Short-Term Housing. Questions? Contact coord@slmath.org.

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Schedule, Notes/Handouts & Videos
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Feb 21, 2018
03:30 PM - 04:00 PM
04:00 PM - 04:30 PM
  Workshop Overview and Logistics
04:30 PM - 06:00 PM
  Plenary Presentations with Moderated Discussion
Phil Kutzko (University of Iowa)
06:00 PM - 07:10 PM
Feb 22, 2018
09:00 AM - 10:15 AM
  Panel on perspectives on mathematics as gatekeeper/gateway
10:15 AM - 10:45 AM
10:45 AM - 11:45 AM
  Parallel Sessions on Challenging the System We Are Part of
11:45 AM - 12:00 PM
  Reconvene as a Whole Group
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
01:00 PM - 02:30 PM
  Plenary Presentations with Moderated Discussion
Rochelle Gutierrez (University of Illinois), Danny Martin (University of Illinois at Chicago)
02:30 PM - 03:00 PM
  What's working: Research Lightning Talks
03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
03:30 PM - 04:30 PM
  What's working: Research Roundtable discussions
04:30 PM - 05:00 PM
  Regroup and Preview of Next Day Activities
05:00 PM - 05:45 PM
  Mathical Book Prize reading and award ceremony
David Eisenbud (University of California, Berkeley), Paul Giganti
Feb 23, 2018
09:00 AM - 10:30 AM
  Plenary Presentations with Moderated Discussion
Estela Bensimon (University of Southern California), Jose Vilson (New York City Department of Education)
10:30 AM - 10:45 AM
10:45 AM - 11:45 AM
  Breakout Sessions: Action Plan brainstorming
11:45 AM - 12:00 PM
  Reconvene as a Whole Group
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
01:00 PM - 02:30 PM
  Plenary Presentations with Moderated Discussion
Dave Kung (St. Mary's College of Maryland), Sumun Pendakur (University of Southern California)
02:30 PM - 03:00 PM
  Whole Group Action Plan Development
03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
03:30 PM - 04:30 PM
  Closing Summary and Action Plan Sharing
Julia Aguirre (University of Washington - Tacoma), Francis Su (Harvey Mudd College)