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Jessica Pierson Bishop

The moment-to-moment dynamics of student discourse plays a large role in students' enacted mathematics identities. Discourse analysis was used to describe meaningful discursive patterns in the interactions of 2 students in a 7th-grade, technology-based, curricular unit (SimCalc MathWorlds®) and to show how mathematics identities are enacted at the microlevel. Frameworks were theoretically and empirically connected to identity to characterize the participants' relative positioning and the structural patterns in their discourse (e.g., who talks, who initiates sequences, whose ideas are taken up and publicly recognized). Data indicated that students' peer-to-peer discourse patterns explained the enactment of differing mathematics identities within the same local context. Thus, the ways people talk and interact are powerful influences on who they are, and can become, with respect to mathematics.

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Tonya Gau Bartell

This article describes teachers' collective work aimed at learning to teach mathematics for social justice. A situated, sociocultural perspective of learning guides this examination of teachers' negotiation of mathematical goals and social justice goals as they developed, implemented, and revised lessons for social justice. Teacher interviews, discussions, lessons, and written reflections were analyzed using grounded theory methodology, and teachers' conversations were examined concerning the relationship between mathematical goals and social justice goals. Analysis revealed that early tensions arose around balancing these goals, that teachers focused more attention on the social justice component, and that the instantiation of these goals in practice proved difficult. Variables that afford or constrain teachers' roles as social justice educators are discussed, and implications for teacher professional development are suggested.

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Addressing Racism

JRME Equity Special Issue Editorial Panel

Beatriz D'Ambrosio, Marilyn Frankenstein, Rochelle Gutiérrez, Signe Kastberg, Danny Bernard Martin, Judit Moschkovich, Edd Taylor and David Barnes

This is a dialogue extracted from a conversation among some members of the Equity Special Issue Editorial Panel (Beatriz D'Ambrosio; Marilyn Frankenstein; Rochelle Gutiérrez, Special Issue editor; Signe Kastberg; Danny Martin; Judit Moschkovich; Edd Taylor; and David Barnes) about racism in mathematics education. It raises issues about the use of terms such as race and racism; understanding fields of research outside of mathematics education; the kinds of racialization processes that occur for students, teachers, and researchers; the social context of students; the achievement gap; and the role of mathematics education in the production of race.

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Introduction to the JRME Equity Special Issue

JRME Equity Special Issue Editorial Panel

Beatriz D'Ambrosio, Marilyn Frankenstein, Rochelle Gutiérrez, Signe Kastberg, Danny Bernard Martin, Judit Moschkovich, Edd Taylor and David Barnes

This article provides an introduction to the JRME Equity Special Issue. It includes a rationale for the special issue, the process for selecting articles, and a description of the kinds of articles that will appear in the special issue. It concludes with a set of questions that teachers and researchers can and should ponder as they read the articles in the special issue.

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Stephen Lerman

In their response to my (1996) article, Steffe and Thompson argued that I have taken an early position of Vygotsky's and that his later work is subsumed in and developed by von Glasersfeld. I argue that the two theories, Vygotsky's and radical constructivism, are, on the contrary, quite distinct and that this distinction, when seen as a dichotomy, is productive. I suggest that radical constructivists draw on a weak image of the role of social life. I argue that a thick notion of social leads to a complexity of sociocultural theories concerning the teaching and learning of mathematics, a perspective that is firmly located in the debates surrounding cultural theory of the last 2 decades.

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Susan B. Empson

This article presents an analysis of two low-performing students' experiences in a firstgrade classroom oriented toward teaching mathematics for understanding. Combining constructs from interactional sociolinguistics and developmental task analysis, I investigate the nature of these students' participation in classroom discourse about fractions. Pre- and post-instruction interviews documenting learning and analysis of classroom interactions suggest mechanisms of that learning. I propose that three main factors account for these two students' success: use of tasks that elicited the students' prior understanding, creation of a variety of participant frameworks (Goffman, 1981) in which the students were treated as mathematically competent, and frequency of opportunities for identity-enhancing interactions.

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Helen J. Forgasz, Gilah C. Leder and Paul L. Gardner

The Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitude Scales (MAS) have been used extensively in research on gender differences in mathematics learning outcomes. The MAS comprise 9 scales measuring attitudes related to mathematics learning, including Mathematics as a Male Domain. The construct “mathematics as a male domain” remains a critical variable in explorations of the continued disadvantage experienced by females in the field of mathematics. We present recent research evidence that indicates that several items in the Mathematics as a Male Domain scale of the MAS may no longer be valid. In light of this evidence, it is appropriate to consider revisions to the scale to ensure that it continues to measure accurately its originally operationalized construct.

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Positioning Oneself in Mathematics Education Research

JRME Equity Special Issue Editorial Panel

Beatriz D'Ambrosio, Marilyn Frankenstein, Rochelle Gutiérrez, Signe Kastberg, Danny Bernard Martin, Judit Moschkovich, Edd Taylor and David Barnes

This dialogue, also extracted from a conversation among members of the Equity Special Issue Editorial Panel, involves the role of a researcher's position in mathematics education. It raises issues about the non-neutrality of research; the relationship between a researcher's identity and the design, analysis, and conclusions of a research study; the benefits for researchers and participants in positioning oneself; and the role of mathematics education in this endeavor.

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Julie Gainsburg

Mathematics educators recognize the impact of students' attitudes, beliefs, and views about mathematics on their learning and use of mathematics. A reform goal is for students to develop a productive mathematical disposition, one that reflects the disposition of professional mathematicians. This may not be the most appropriate model for most students, and other mathematical dispositions may be possible and productive. This ethnographic study investigated the mathematical disposition of engineers. Structural engineers in two firms were observed in everyday practice. Observation and interview data were analyzed to elucidate the role of mathematics in solving engineering problems and the engineers' perceptions of the status of mathematics relative to other resources and constraints. The phenomenon of “engineering judgment” was found to shape the role of mathematics in engineering work and render the engineers' mathematical disposition—of “skeptical reverence”—distinct from the disposition currently developed in schools.

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Steven R. Guberman

The study reported in this article examined relations between ethnicity, out-of-school activities, and arithmetical achievements in Latin American and Korean American children in first, second, and third grades. Three types of data were collected: parents' educational attitudes and beliefs, parents' reports of children's everyday activities with arithmetic and money, and children's performance on arithmetic tasks. Few differences emerged in parents' attitudes about education, although their reports revealed differences in children's out-of-school activities, with Latin American children more often engaged in instrumental activities with money, and Korean American children more often engaged in activities intended to support their school learning. Children's performances on arithmetic tasks mirrored their engagement in out-of-school activities: Latin American children solved correctly more tasks with money than denominational chips, and Korean American children solved correctly more tasks with chips than money. The results are discussed with respect to understanding connections between culture and children's developing mathematical understanding, and creating culturally relevant school instruction that builds on students' informal mathematics knowledge.