Constructing Arguments Together: Redefining Participation in Mathematical Argument
Salvador Huitzilopochtli

About the research


Equity in Math Education Research Grants

Award Year



Michigan State University

Primary Discipline

Mathematics Education
This study uses the Learning by Observing and Pitching In to Family and Community Endeavors (LOPI) framework to shape teacher professional development (PD) and classroom activities so that middle-grades students hone their mathematical justifying practice while engaging mathematical arguments. Historically, students from underrepresented and minoritized (URM) communities have had less access to robust mathematics education. In particular, Black, Latinx, and Indigenous students have been plagued by racial animus, segregation, deficit framings, and mathematics courses that serve as ?gatekeepers.? This comparative case study uses LOPI to frame the organization and resulting products of a teacher professional development series in which teachers plan and enact classroom activities. LOPI describes how learning activities are organized in heritage Indigenous communities from North America and presumes students have autonomy and agency as they participate in community endeavors by intent observation and pitching in. I will analyze the activities generated by the teachers to examine their alignment with the LOPI facets and interview teachers to understand their beliefs about student participation and agency. I will examine the classroom activities to characterize the participation and arguments students generated in class and then examine how they revise those arguments when given the opportunity using Harel & Sowder?s (1998) proof schemes framework. This study contributes to mathematics education research in two ways. First, by expanding possibilities for participation in mathematical activity and discussions through classroom reorganization. Secondly, by inviting teachers and students into a world organized with decolonial approaches to shape mathematical activity.
About Salvador Huitzilopochtli
Salvador Huitzilopochtli is currently a post-doctoral researcher at Michigan State University in the Advancing STEM Education through Participatory and Community-Engaged Research (STEM Ed PaCER) program. He earned his PhD in Education from the University of California at Santa Cruz.  Dr. Huitzilopochtli’s dissertation, titled “Multilingual Students’ Arguments in Early Algebra: Writing, Refining, and Revising Through Conferencing,” examined how multilingual students verbally revised mathematical arguments during teacher conferences. His research interests include mathematical argumentative writing and early algebra with a focus on fostering equitable outcomes for all students.  Dr. Huitzilopochtli earned master’s degrees in Education from UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz and his research is informed by ten years of experience as a middle-school mathematics teacher and teacher–leader in culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse schools in the East Bay Area.  His approach to mathematics education emphasizes the roles of language, literacy, and culture in learning.

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