Reading Response

After completing the assigned readings for Week 8, choose two of the following response questions. Identify the numbers of the questions you answer in the initial post. Those numbers will be important when it comes to responding to peer posts.

Initial post
Su (2020) names three assumptions that mathematical communities make often – and that have strong implications for misjudging people: the assumption that grades are a measure of mathematical promise, the assumption that learning math doesnt involve culture, and the assumption that certain people will not be successful in mathematics, leading to their push-out. Choose one of Sus assumptions – maybe the one that is most challenging for you to understand – and provide a short explanation of where this assumption can be seen in K-12 classrooms, in schools/districts, and broadly in society. In your explanation, clearly link these examples to how you see the assumption impacting who can do mathematics and what is considered mathematics. Then, identity one new assumption you see (or have experienced) made by mathematical communities that can limit who can do mathematics fully.

Su (2020) discusses justice in two forms: primary and rectifying justice (p. 150). He notes that if we have primary justice, there is no need for rectifying justice. Consider that there have been people raising awareness of the need to change the ways we teach and learn math for a long time. Why do you think long-lasting, impactful change is so hard to come by in math education? Who benefits from keeping things the same as theyve always been? What needs to shift in order to have primary justice in mathematics education? Provide your reflections on these three questions, grounding your response in your own experiences or in examples from course texts.

The readings for this week (Cioe, et al., 2016; Mueller & Maher, 2010) argue that justification encompasses mathematical arguments more broadly than just formal proof and is a process that needs to be supported and developed across grade bands. Synthesize your current understanding of the process of justification: what is it? How is it done? Why is it done? Connect your synthesis to features of instruction and classroom environments – at least one each – that you believe are essential for helping students build understanding and skills of justification. Be specific in your response.

We note that a key component of equitable mathematics teaching and learning is about even distributions of power across classroom participants and interactions. How do the examples of mathematical argumentation and justification across this weeks readings depend on equitable power dynamics amongst students and between students and teachers? How does development of justification contribute positively to development of student agency and voice in the classroom? Contextualize your response with specific examples from the course text or your own experiences.

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