Searching for Educational Equity Through Critical Socio-Spatial Analysis
Cathery Yeh

About the research


Equity in Math Education Research Grants

Award Year



University of Texas at Austin

Primary Discipline

Mathematics Education
Despite a growing focus in mathematics education to critique power, critical mathematics approaches in both elementary education and teacher education settings have rarely attended to the intersections of racism and ableism in mathematics education. Racism and ableism are often thought of as parallel systems of oppression that work separately to perpetuate social hierarchies. This perspective ignores the experiences of disabled students of color, but it also fails to examine racialized ableism - how race is pathologized through ableism to perpetuate systemic racism in mathematics education. Using Disability Critical Race Theory (DisCrit) as a theoretical and methodological framework, the project goal is to examine and disrupt racialized ableism in mathematics education using counterstories of students and their families to develop a set of video cases that de-settle whiteness to center on children at the intersections of race and disability and their families and how they negotiate and resist notions of ?normalcy? within and beyond mathematics classrooms. The following research question shapes the project design: How do the mathematics counter-stories developed by students and families identify and disrupt ways in which racism and ableism shape learning spaces within and connected to schools? To address the project goal, the project captures the mathematics counter-stories of students of color identified with disabilities and their families through multimedia Education Journey Mapping, using mobile documentary media production with Geographic Information System (GIS), to explore the role of space, race, and ability inside and outside of classrooms and schools.
About Cathery Yeh
Dr. Cathery Yeh (she/her/hers) is an assistant professor in STEM Education and a core faculty member in the Center for Asian American Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. Her research examines the intersections of race, language, and disability to provide a more nuanced analysis of the constructions of ability in mathematics classrooms and education systems. Funded by the National Science Foundation, Mathematics Education Fund, National Endowment for the Humanities and other agencies, her scholarship is collaborative, building research partnerships with school districts and communities to position student and family community and cultural wealth as central sources of knowledge to create change in mathematics classrooms and schools. Dr. Yeh is the recipient of the 2023 American Educational Research Association Special Interest Group for Research in Mathematics Education (SIG-RME) Early Career Publication Award and the 2022 Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE) Early Career Award. Dr. Yeh is actively involved in the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, currently serving as an elected member of the Board of Directors (2021-2024). She served on the task force and as writer for the Catalyzing Change series, published in 2020.

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