"I Thought this U.S. Place was Supposed to be About Freedom": Young Latinas Speak to Equity in Mathematics Education and Society

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/195037
Title:
"I Thought this U.S. Place was Supposed to be About Freedom": Young Latinas Speak to Equity in Mathematics Education and Society
Author:
Varley Gutierrez, Maura
Issue Date:
2009
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This dissertation outlines findings from a critical ethnographic research study that attempted to document young Latinas engaging in critical mathematics education, with implications for shifting dominant ideas about the form and goals of education. As Latina youth are marginalized from classrooms and in society where their language, culture, practices, and community are seen as "problems," and particularly in mathematics classrooms where a dominant culture is said to further exclude girls, there is an exigency to understand how in fact Latina students could experience education as transformative. Critical race and feminist theories further argue for centralizing the experiences of women or girls of color as essential to understanding where change can happen in society because of the role that racism and sexism play in structuring educational experiences. Therefore, this study foregrounds the experiences of young Latinas as they engage in critical mathematics.A critical educational paradigm has been put forth whose purpose is to develop critical literacy in students where they investigate, make apparent and challenge oppressive societal structures. This critical ethnographic research study seeks to gain a more nuanced understanding of how young Latinas experience a social justice mathematics learning environment through the facilitation and research of an after-school, all girls mathematics club. More specifically, data in the form of field notes, videotaped sessions, classroom observations, student work and interviews offers a rich source for analysis of their practices in the learning environment, their perceptions of mathematics, themselves as learners of mathematics and as people who can make changes in their lives, communities and in the world. The construct of critical mathematical agency is employed in attempting to understand how the participants' actions expressed a sense of being able to use mathematics to critique and change their worlds. Analysis revealed they engaged in resistance, research and (re)authoring, as ways of expressing critical mathematical agency. In addition, their insight into critical mathematics education highlights the importance of incorporating critical funds of knowledge, fostering collectivity, and centering the experiences in authentic, community contexts. This understanding will inform arguments for seeking social justice through mathematics education and educational research, particularly for Latina youth.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
critical education; gender; latinos; mathematics education; race
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Language, Reading & Culture; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Turner, Erin E; Gonzalez, Norma
Committee Chair:
Turner, Erin E; Gonzalez, Norma

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.title"I Thought this U.S. Place was Supposed to be About Freedom": Young Latinas Speak to Equity in Mathematics Education and Societyen_US
dc.creatorVarley Gutierrez, Mauraen_US
dc.contributor.authorVarley Gutierrez, Mauraen_US
dc.date.issued2009en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation outlines findings from a critical ethnographic research study that attempted to document young Latinas engaging in critical mathematics education, with implications for shifting dominant ideas about the form and goals of education. As Latina youth are marginalized from classrooms and in society where their language, culture, practices, and community are seen as "problems," and particularly in mathematics classrooms where a dominant culture is said to further exclude girls, there is an exigency to understand how in fact Latina students could experience education as transformative. Critical race and feminist theories further argue for centralizing the experiences of women or girls of color as essential to understanding where change can happen in society because of the role that racism and sexism play in structuring educational experiences. Therefore, this study foregrounds the experiences of young Latinas as they engage in critical mathematics.A critical educational paradigm has been put forth whose purpose is to develop critical literacy in students where they investigate, make apparent and challenge oppressive societal structures. This critical ethnographic research study seeks to gain a more nuanced understanding of how young Latinas experience a social justice mathematics learning environment through the facilitation and research of an after-school, all girls mathematics club. More specifically, data in the form of field notes, videotaped sessions, classroom observations, student work and interviews offers a rich source for analysis of their practices in the learning environment, their perceptions of mathematics, themselves as learners of mathematics and as people who can make changes in their lives, communities and in the world. The construct of critical mathematical agency is employed in attempting to understand how the participants' actions expressed a sense of being able to use mathematics to critique and change their worlds. Analysis revealed they engaged in resistance, research and (re)authoring, as ways of expressing critical mathematical agency. In addition, their insight into critical mathematics education highlights the importance of incorporating critical funds of knowledge, fostering collectivity, and centering the experiences in authentic, community contexts. This understanding will inform arguments for seeking social justice through mathematics education and educational research, particularly for Latina youth.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectcritical educationen_US
dc.subjectgenderen_US
dc.subjectlatinosen_US
dc.subjectmathematics educationen_US
dc.subjectraceen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineLanguage, Reading & Cultureen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorTurner, Erin Een_US
dc.contributor.advisorGonzalez, Normaen_US
dc.contributor.chairTurner, Erin Een_US
dc.contributor.chairGonzalez, Normaen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMoll, Luisen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberCivil, Martaen_US
dc.identifier.proquest10411en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659752146en_US
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