Beyond Gap Gazing: How Can Thinking About Education Comprehensively Help Us (Re)envision Mathematics Education?

Rochelle Gutiérrez, Ezekiel Dixon-Román

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


One cannot talk about equity these days without being politically correct. In fact, in the United States, “equity” has become an empty signifier manipulated in/through discourse (Dixon-Román, in press). For example, although many use “the achievement gap” as an important call for school accountability around needed resources and additional support for marginalized students, (e.g., Education Trust 2005), such discourse has done little more than replace “the culture of poverty” in the latest of deficit frameworks. That is, while equity issues are becoming more mainstream in the mathematics education community, theoretical framings continue to reflect equality rather than justice, static identities of teachers and students rather than multiple, fluid, or contradictory ones (Gutiérrez 2002, 2007; Martin 2009) and schooling rather than education. Whenever words like “quality,” “democracy,” and “equity” are used, we must first unpack what these terms mean and then examine who benefits from the definitions employed.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMapping Equity and Quality in Mathematics Education
EditorsBill Atweh, Mellony Graven, Walter Secada, Paola Valero
Place of PublicationDordrecht
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9789048198030
ISBN (Print)9789048198023
StatePublished - 2011


  • Achievement gap
  • Schooling
  • Comprehensive education
  • Out-of-school mathematics
  • Mathematics for social justice
  • Ethnomathematics
  • Post-structuralism
  • Power
  • Identity
  • Equity


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