Education for Liberation: Toward a Framework for Teaching Mathematics for Social Justice
In this chapter, I draw together several ideas to outline a broad framework for teaching mathematics for social justice. My framework is based on a number of educational traditions and emerged as I reflected on my teaching practice and attempted to theorize about what was happening in my class. I started developing the framework in 1997 while teaching, although its roots were in an earlier collaborative project with Rivera teachers on culturally relevant mathematics teaching (Gutstein, Lipman, Hernández, & de los Reyes, 1997). I needed to understand and situate my teaching and students’ learning, as well as develop the language to describe them. I turned most of all to Paulo Freire’s work and to literature on culturally relevant pedagogy and African American liberatory education. I recognize that some have critiqued Freire’s views as inadequate in certain areas, specifically race (Haymes, 2002; Ladson-Billings, 1997) and gender (Ellsworth, 1989; Weiler, 1991). In fact, I turned to others beyond Freire because he did not deal substantively with race or teaching other people’s children. However, I find much value in his theories, philosophies, and practices to guide and interpret my work.