Using Social Semiotics to Prepare Mathematics Teachers to Teach for Social Justice

Jun. 27, 2009

Source: Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, Issue Volume 12, Number 3, pages 187-203 (June 2009).

In this article, the authors propose that guiding teachers to examine the regulative/discursive norms of school mathematics with tools derived from social semiotics can serve two related goals. The first one is to deconstruct the “math is math period!” disposition in prospective teachers by promoting their critical understanding of the symbolic domination work they often unknowingly perform. The second goal is to reconstruct a more socio-political disposition by equipping them with tools for decoding the dominant discursive practices of school mathematics.
After reviewing research on the social semiotics of mathematics education, the authors discuss two sample teacher education tasks designed with the above goals in mind.

Updated: Jul. 08, 2009


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