Mathematics education in the United States can reproduce social inequalities whether schools use either "basic-skills" curricula to prepare mainly low-income students of color for low-skilled service jobs or "standards-based" curricula to ready students for knowledge-intensive positions. And working for fundamental social change and rectifying injustice are rarely included in any mathematics curriculum. Reading and Writing the World with Mathematics argues that mathematics education should prepare students to investigate and critique injustice, and to challenge, in words and actions, oppressive structures and acts. Based on teacher-research, the book provides a theoretical framework and practical examples for how mathematics educators can connect schooling to a larger sociopolitical context and concretely teach mathematics for social justice.
Eric Gutstein is an Associate Professor of Mathematics Education, University of Illinois-Chicago. For the past seven years, he has also been a middle-school math teacher at a Chicago public school. He is a frequent contributor to Rethinking Schools and has written on issues of math equity for numerous academic publications.