Embracing Nepantla: Rethinking "Knowledge" and its Use in Mathematics Teaching

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Although educational researchers are moving beyond purely psychological and cognitive models of learning to consider the ways in which mathematics teaching might reach a more diverse student population, this work remains in its infancy, and the concept of “knowledge” is rarely questioned. This paper begins with the idea that mathematics education has much to gain from perspectives in Latin@ studies. I draw on the work of Gloria Anzaldúa, specifically her concepts of “conocimiento” and “Nepantla” to bring a more holistic/connected perspective to the “knowledge” teachers may need for teaching and highlight how it might align with broader definitions of mathematics. I also offer examples from a partnership with a Chicago high school to show how pre-service teachers move through cycles of knowledge construction. Implications for teacher education, and teacher recruitment are discussed.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Research in Mathematics Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012


  • Nepantla
  • knowledge
  • mathematics teaching
  • Latin@s


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