Towards Emancipatory Anti-Racist Mathematics Teaching and Learning
Sandra Zuniga Ruiz

About the research


Equity in Math Education Research Grants

Award Year



San Jose State University

Primary Discipline

Mathematics Education
In recent decades, the field of mathematics education has made immense strides in centering justice in our K-12 math classrooms. These efforts propel us to shift towards more liberatory identity-centered frameworks, emancipatory anti-racist mathematics education. I argue this shift requires the co-creation of spaces of freedom foregrounding the imaginary towards more just possibilities of elementary mathematics education for teachers and children. In this project, I aim to construct an understanding of what emancipatory anti-racist mathematics teaching and learning is as understood and conceptualized by a group of elementary Latine educators. This two-year project will begin with the development of a proactive counterspace for in-service teachers to grapple with developing an emancipatory anti-racist perspective of mathematics teaching and learning. In the second year, the in-service teachers will be followed in the classroom to examine and understand the transformative practices grounded on the embodiment of the emancipatory antiracist perspective. This second phase would complement the teachers? perspective by now including the researcher?s and students? perspective. Grounded on Critical Race Theory and LatCrit theory this study will center the voices and experiences of Latine educators as they grapple with becoming (an ongoing process) emancipatory anti-racist mathematics educators. This study will contribute to the ongoing efforts of retaining teachers of color through community, support bridging the gap in teacher education between theory and practice and challenge the status quo by cultivating more humanizing and dignity affirming math classrooms.
About Sandra Zuniga Ruiz
Nickolaus Alexander Ortiz, Nickolaus for short, is a tenure track assistant professor of Mathematics Education in the Department of Middle and Secondary Education at Georgia State University. He is a 2018 graduate of Texas A&M University where he earned his doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in Mathematics Education. Following graduate work, Dr. Ortiz served as a post-doctoral research associate at Michigan State University. He is a product of {East} Atlanta, Georgia, where he taught high school mathematics for three years in a public school, and he continues to teach calculus each summer in Atlanta with the UpwardBound Program at Morehouse College. An emerging academic and experienced educator, Dr. Ortiz has been honored as a 2022 recipient of the Ernest D. Morrell Emerging Scholar Award and with the Early Career Publication Award from AERA’s Research in Mathematics Education SIG. His research focuses on how an ontological Blackness is manifested and/or stifled during high-quality mathematics instruction that emphasizes teaching for conceptual understanding, mathematics discourse, and cultural relevance. Specifically, he studies mathematics discourse and Black Language, and is actively theorizing about what it means to create a Black liberatory mathematics education that affirms these linguistic practices and Black people writ large. Last but not least, he is a musician (by hobby) who loves everything from Gladys Knight to OutKast, and one who theorizes the connections between music and mathematics in his approach to culturally relevant mathematics pedagogy.

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