In this article, mathematics classrooms are conceptualized as heterogeneous spaces in which multiple figured worlds come into contact. The study explores how a group of high school students drew upon several figured worlds as they navigated mathematical discussions. Results highlight 3 major points. First, the students drew on 2 primary figured worlds: a mathematics learning figured world and a figured world of friendship and romance. Both of these figured worlds were racialized and gendered, and were actively constructed and contested by the students. Second, these figured worlds offered resources for 1 African American student, Dawn, to position herself powerfully within classroom hierarchies. Third, these acts of positioning allowed Dawn to engage in mathematical practices such as conjecturing, clarifying ideas, and providing evidence.

Contributor Notes

Indigo Esmonde, Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, 252 Bloor St. W, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1V6;

Jennifer M. Langer-Osuna, Department of Teaching and Learning, School of Education, University of Miami, 5202 University Drive, 222-H Merrick Building, Coral Gables, FL 33124-2040;

(Corresponding author is Esmonde
(Corresponding author is Langer-Osuna
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education


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