Fostering Critical Consciousness: Transforming Pre- and In-Service Latino/a/e Bilingual Teachers' Perceptions of Latino/a/e English Learners' Abilities and the Role of Errors in the Math Classroom through Professional Development on the U.S.-Mexico Border
Mariana Alvidrez

About the research


Equity in Math Education Research Grants

Award Year



New Mexico State University

Primary Discipline

Mathematics Education
This project addresses the prevalent deficit discourses surrounding Latino/a/e students in mathematics education, particularly on the U.S.-Mexico border. These discourses wrongly assert that Latino/a/e students who do not speak English or engage in code-switching and translanguaging practices are mathematically incompetent. This project is centered on designing professional development (PD) that partners with Latino/a/e teachers as co-designers and co-researchers. This PD aims to support in-service teachers in developing critical consciousness, enabling them to recognize and resist deficit discourses and acknowledge the rich cultural and linguistic backgrounds of their Latino/a/e students, and more specifically of their English language learners (ELLs). The project emphasizes the need for reframing the role of errors in mathematical learning, which is essential in fostering students' sense of agency, positive identities, and understanding of complex mathematical concepts. It argues against unproductive perceptions of mistakes as signs of incompetence, advocating instead for productive framing of errors as valuable learning resources. This approach is crucial for supporting ELLs?who are often viewed from a deficit perspective because of their difficulties in producing answers correctly and quickly?to develop their sense of belonging and competence in the mathematics classroom. Alvidrez's research methodology combines qualitative and quantitative approaches, focusing on the lived experiences of Latino/a/e teachers and the systemic barriers they face in mathematics education. This project seeks to promote inclusive and equitable learning environments that value and leverage the cultural and linguistic assets of Latino/a/e students in the U.S.-Mexico border region.
About Mariana Alvidrez
Mariana Alvidrez serves as an assistant professor of STEM education in the School of Teacher Preparation, Administration, and Leadership in the College of Health, Education, and Social Transformation at New Mexico State University. Throughout her professional journey, she has developed her expertise by engaging in various capacities within mathematics education fields on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border community. Mariana Alvidrez’s research is centrally concerned with inclusion, exclusion, equity, belonging, and justice issues in mathematics education. She is especially interested in examining Latino/a/e students’ experiences in mathematics, which are often shaped by systemic racism and intersecting systems of oppression. More specifically, her previous and still ongoing work has focused on how teachers of mathematics frame students’ errors. She has been exploring how these framings either support or impede students’ learning opportunities, the development of their sense of agency, and the formation of their identities as capable thinkers and doers within the mathematical classroom environment. In addition, Mariana is deeply interested in the development of equitable assessment strategies that effectively support Latina/o/e students who are English Learners to leverage their linguistic repertoires as a fundamental resource in the learning and assessment of mathematical skills.

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