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# Liberation Mathematics

We all know it, although not everyone will admit it: Math sucks. It's uninteresting, irrelevant, and pointlessly difficult. But even people who spend their lives avoiding math will repeat the platitude that it is important for students to study mathematic

by

Tweet## Angela Vierling-Claassen

on 18 March 2015#### Transcript of Liberation Mathematics

Future Dreams Heteronomy: Teacher as sole authority Math Anxiety Part of the way individuals are socialized to acceptable behavior

Can signal a threat to our social being

Tends to develop over time

A state of the self, rather than passing emotion

Feeling is one of being unworthy of connection and relationship What is Shame? Poor Performance Typical Model of Affective Issues in Math Help student overcome anxiety Better Performance Math Avoidance Less Avoidance Failure Anxiety Avoidance Feeling Powerless Shaming others Anger Identifying as "Bad at Math" Poor Performance Why Shame in Math? Traditional classrooms

leave little room for interpretation or ambiguity

focus on algorithms with right/wrong answers

Teacher set up as authority even more than in other subjects

Math competence seen as stand-in for intelligence

Math used as a gatekeeper to keep people out of high-paying & powerful careers Here the student is the problem since anxiety is an individual problem Because shame is a social issue, this is a community problem, requiring solutions in relationships and communities Irrelevant

Doesn't make sense

Pointlessly difficult Everyone Needs Math Isolated & powerless students Isolation & blame of teachers Math Sucks Primacy of math (top of hierarchy)

Math as indicator of intelligence

Math as gatekeeper

Possible usefulness of math Possible to develop ongoing collective

Dissemination and outreach

Same methodology applied to different ages

Workshop/short course possible with similar impact Assessment and Analysis Product of the group process itself Q: Secondary assessment like pre/post test? Q: Focus work with goal of paper or self-published book? Liberation Mathematics: Reconstituting Mathematical Identity Liberationist/Feminist methodology

Collective meets to analyze memories from their own lives

Seeks to use memory to study the process by which identities are formed.

People are not just bearers of roles, but actively create their own identities and at times participate in their own subjugation. Liberation Mathematics Situation with (possible)

math content Writing memories and reflections Collective analysis and questioning: themes, differences, connections to culture Critical consciousness Engage in collaborative selection of problems Reform efforts focus on what we educators can do to solve their problems and get them to engage in the kind of work we value Angela Vierling-Claassen

http://liberationmath.org

avierlin@lesley.edu Liberation Mathematics, spring 2013: students analyze their mathematical identities, put them in context, determine what they value mathematically, take power over their own mathematical identities. Belief in competence of all to participate in this selection Developing mathematical power Alone vs. in community, tensions between pressure of performance and support of group Writing Group Analysis Problem Memory Work Critical Problem Solving 3rd person narratives provide distance & draw out details Development of product such as paper or self-published book Theory development & writing Focusing on situations & problems that are relevant to tudents Analysis of problems from typical and reform math classrooms Solidification of narratives, themes, reconstituted identities Recording developments in each group session, accountability Of writing and other materials like articles & textbooks Overcoming "freezing" when faced with problem Dealing with discomfort of "groping" Interrogation Critical interrogation & mathematical exploration What is the focus? What is left out? What mathematics is being used or could be used? Why? Shame About Mathematics Underneath failure anxiety is shame Crawford, J., Kippax, S., Onyx, J., Gault, U., & Benton, P. (1992). Emotion and gender: Constructing meaning from memory. Sage Publications, Inc.

Ingleton, C. (1999). Emotion in learning: A neglected dynamic. HERDSA annual international conference, Melbourne (pp. 12–15).

Ingleton, C., & O’Regan, K. (2002). Recounting Mathematical Experiences: Emotions in Mathematics Learning. Literacy & Numeracy Studies, 11(2), 95–107.

Mitchell, P., Rocco, S., Gannon, S., Onyx, J., McCormack, C., Koutroulis, G., Ingleton, C., et al. (2007). Memory-Workers Doing Memory-Work on Memory-Work: Exploring Unresolved Power.

Onyx, J., & Small, J. (2001). Memory-Work: The Method. Qualitative Inquiry, 7(6), 773 –786. doi:10.1177/107780040100700608

Small, J. (2007). Memory-work: An introduction. UTS epress retrieved from. Freire, P. (2000). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Continuum International Publishing Group.

Johnston, B. (1995). Mathematics: An abstracted discourse. In P. Rogers & G. Kaiser (Eds.), Equity in mathematics education: Influences of feminism and culture (pp. 226–234). Routledge.

Patrick, R. (1999). Not Your Usual Maths Course: critical mathematics education for adults. Higher Education Research & Development, 18(1), 85–98.

Rogers, P., & Kaiser, G. (1995). Equity in mathematics education: Influences of feminism and culture. Routledge.

Skovsmose, O. (2008). Critical mathematics education for the future. ICME-10 Proceedings.

Wamsted, J. O. (2010). A Mathematics Teacher Looks at Mathematics Educators Looking at Mathematics Education: A Review of Culturally Responsive Mathematics Education. Journal of Urban Mathematics Education, 3(2). Bibby, T. (2002). Shame: An Emotional Response to Doing Mathematics as an Adult and a Teacher. British Educational Research Journal, 28(5), 705–721.

Brown, C. B. (2007). I thought it was just me: women reclaiming power and courage in a culture of shame. Penguin.

Elison, J., Pulos, S., & Lennon, R. (2006). Shame-Focused Coping: An Empirical Study of the Compass of Shame. Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, 34, 161–168. doi:10.2224/sbp.2006.34.2.161

Ferguson, T. J., Eyre, H. L., & Ashbaker, M. (2000). Unwanted identities: A key variable in shame–anger links and gender differences in shame. Sex Roles, 42(3), 133–157.

Hargreaves, A. (1998). The Emotional Practice of Teaching. Teaching and Teacher Education, 14(8), 835–54.

Hartling, L. M., Rosen, W., Walker, M., & Jordan, J. V. (2000). Shame and humiliation: From isolation to relational transformation. Work in Progress, 88, 1–14.

Husman, J., & Turner, J. E. (2008). Emotional and cognitive self-regulation following academic shame. Journal of Advanced Academics, 20(1), 138+.

Ingleton, C., & O’Regan, K. (2002). Recounting Mathematical Experiences: Emotions in Mathematics Learning. Literacy & Numeracy Studies, 11(2), 95–107.

Jessica Pierson Bishop. (2012). “She’s Always Been the Smart One. I’ve Always Been the Dumb One”: Identities in the Mathematics Classroom. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 43(1), 34–74.

Johnston, B. (1995). Mathematics: An abstracted discourse. In P. Rogers & G. Kaiser (Eds.), Equity in mathematics education: Influences of feminism and culture (pp. 226–234). Routledge.

Lewis, M. (1993). Self-conscious emotions: Embarrassment, pride, shame, and guilt.

Martin, D. B., Gholson, M. L., & Leonard, J. (2010). Mathematics as gatekeeper: Power and privilege in the production of knowledge. Journal of Urban Mathematics Education, 3(2), 12–24.

McGregor, H. A. (2005). The Shame of Failure: Examining the Link Between Fear of Failure and Shame. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31, 218–231. doi:10.1177/0146167204271420

McLeod, D. B. (1992). Research on affect in mathematics education: A reconceptualization. In D. A. Grouws (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Mathematics Learning and Teaching (pp. 575–596). New York: Macmillan.

Miller, R. S., & Tangney, J. P. (1994). Differentiating Embarrassment and Shame. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 13(3), 273–287. doi:10.1521/jscp.1994.13.3.273

Stodolsky, S. S. (1985). Telling Math: Origins of Math Aversion and Anxiety. Educational Psychologist, 20, 125–133. doi:10.1207/s15326985ep2003_2

Webber, V. (1998). Dismantling the Altar of Mathematics: A Case Study of the Change from Victim to Actor in Mathematics Learning. Literacy and Numeracy Studies, 8(1), 9–22. How to craft assignments so that students can authentically engage? How to balance that with student control?

How to guide the class, be a teacher, hold students accountable without taking over the project

Can I have students hold each other accountable

My background in qualitative research is thin -- how to best beef it up & then help to train students?

Could give students a pre-test and post-test, but this would seem to violate the safe space and students control I am trying to establish. Are there better ways that I can do an assessment beyond the one the students and I do together?

How can I have the students assess themselves?

Thoughts about having students develop a particular product as a goal such as a paper, website, or book Questions for now:

Full transcriptCan signal a threat to our social being

Tends to develop over time

A state of the self, rather than passing emotion

Feeling is one of being unworthy of connection and relationship What is Shame? Poor Performance Typical Model of Affective Issues in Math Help student overcome anxiety Better Performance Math Avoidance Less Avoidance Failure Anxiety Avoidance Feeling Powerless Shaming others Anger Identifying as "Bad at Math" Poor Performance Why Shame in Math? Traditional classrooms

leave little room for interpretation or ambiguity

focus on algorithms with right/wrong answers

Teacher set up as authority even more than in other subjects

Math competence seen as stand-in for intelligence

Math used as a gatekeeper to keep people out of high-paying & powerful careers Here the student is the problem since anxiety is an individual problem Because shame is a social issue, this is a community problem, requiring solutions in relationships and communities Irrelevant

Doesn't make sense

Pointlessly difficult Everyone Needs Math Isolated & powerless students Isolation & blame of teachers Math Sucks Primacy of math (top of hierarchy)

Math as indicator of intelligence

Math as gatekeeper

Possible usefulness of math Possible to develop ongoing collective

Dissemination and outreach

Same methodology applied to different ages

Workshop/short course possible with similar impact Assessment and Analysis Product of the group process itself Q: Secondary assessment like pre/post test? Q: Focus work with goal of paper or self-published book? Liberation Mathematics: Reconstituting Mathematical Identity Liberationist/Feminist methodology

Collective meets to analyze memories from their own lives

Seeks to use memory to study the process by which identities are formed.

People are not just bearers of roles, but actively create their own identities and at times participate in their own subjugation. Liberation Mathematics Situation with (possible)

math content Writing memories and reflections Collective analysis and questioning: themes, differences, connections to culture Critical consciousness Engage in collaborative selection of problems Reform efforts focus on what we educators can do to solve their problems and get them to engage in the kind of work we value Angela Vierling-Claassen

http://liberationmath.org

avierlin@lesley.edu Liberation Mathematics, spring 2013: students analyze their mathematical identities, put them in context, determine what they value mathematically, take power over their own mathematical identities. Belief in competence of all to participate in this selection Developing mathematical power Alone vs. in community, tensions between pressure of performance and support of group Writing Group Analysis Problem Memory Work Critical Problem Solving 3rd person narratives provide distance & draw out details Development of product such as paper or self-published book Theory development & writing Focusing on situations & problems that are relevant to tudents Analysis of problems from typical and reform math classrooms Solidification of narratives, themes, reconstituted identities Recording developments in each group session, accountability Of writing and other materials like articles & textbooks Overcoming "freezing" when faced with problem Dealing with discomfort of "groping" Interrogation Critical interrogation & mathematical exploration What is the focus? What is left out? What mathematics is being used or could be used? Why? Shame About Mathematics Underneath failure anxiety is shame Crawford, J., Kippax, S., Onyx, J., Gault, U., & Benton, P. (1992). Emotion and gender: Constructing meaning from memory. Sage Publications, Inc.

Ingleton, C. (1999). Emotion in learning: A neglected dynamic. HERDSA annual international conference, Melbourne (pp. 12–15).

Ingleton, C., & O’Regan, K. (2002). Recounting Mathematical Experiences: Emotions in Mathematics Learning. Literacy & Numeracy Studies, 11(2), 95–107.

Mitchell, P., Rocco, S., Gannon, S., Onyx, J., McCormack, C., Koutroulis, G., Ingleton, C., et al. (2007). Memory-Workers Doing Memory-Work on Memory-Work: Exploring Unresolved Power.

Onyx, J., & Small, J. (2001). Memory-Work: The Method. Qualitative Inquiry, 7(6), 773 –786. doi:10.1177/107780040100700608

Small, J. (2007). Memory-work: An introduction. UTS epress retrieved from. Freire, P. (2000). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Continuum International Publishing Group.

Johnston, B. (1995). Mathematics: An abstracted discourse. In P. Rogers & G. Kaiser (Eds.), Equity in mathematics education: Influences of feminism and culture (pp. 226–234). Routledge.

Patrick, R. (1999). Not Your Usual Maths Course: critical mathematics education for adults. Higher Education Research & Development, 18(1), 85–98.

Rogers, P., & Kaiser, G. (1995). Equity in mathematics education: Influences of feminism and culture. Routledge.

Skovsmose, O. (2008). Critical mathematics education for the future. ICME-10 Proceedings.

Wamsted, J. O. (2010). A Mathematics Teacher Looks at Mathematics Educators Looking at Mathematics Education: A Review of Culturally Responsive Mathematics Education. Journal of Urban Mathematics Education, 3(2). Bibby, T. (2002). Shame: An Emotional Response to Doing Mathematics as an Adult and a Teacher. British Educational Research Journal, 28(5), 705–721.

Brown, C. B. (2007). I thought it was just me: women reclaiming power and courage in a culture of shame. Penguin.

Elison, J., Pulos, S., & Lennon, R. (2006). Shame-Focused Coping: An Empirical Study of the Compass of Shame. Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, 34, 161–168. doi:10.2224/sbp.2006.34.2.161

Ferguson, T. J., Eyre, H. L., & Ashbaker, M. (2000). Unwanted identities: A key variable in shame–anger links and gender differences in shame. Sex Roles, 42(3), 133–157.

Hargreaves, A. (1998). The Emotional Practice of Teaching. Teaching and Teacher Education, 14(8), 835–54.

Hartling, L. M., Rosen, W., Walker, M., & Jordan, J. V. (2000). Shame and humiliation: From isolation to relational transformation. Work in Progress, 88, 1–14.

Husman, J., & Turner, J. E. (2008). Emotional and cognitive self-regulation following academic shame. Journal of Advanced Academics, 20(1), 138+.

Ingleton, C., & O’Regan, K. (2002). Recounting Mathematical Experiences: Emotions in Mathematics Learning. Literacy & Numeracy Studies, 11(2), 95–107.

Jessica Pierson Bishop. (2012). “She’s Always Been the Smart One. I’ve Always Been the Dumb One”: Identities in the Mathematics Classroom. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 43(1), 34–74.

Johnston, B. (1995). Mathematics: An abstracted discourse. In P. Rogers & G. Kaiser (Eds.), Equity in mathematics education: Influences of feminism and culture (pp. 226–234). Routledge.

Lewis, M. (1993). Self-conscious emotions: Embarrassment, pride, shame, and guilt.

Martin, D. B., Gholson, M. L., & Leonard, J. (2010). Mathematics as gatekeeper: Power and privilege in the production of knowledge. Journal of Urban Mathematics Education, 3(2), 12–24.

McGregor, H. A. (2005). The Shame of Failure: Examining the Link Between Fear of Failure and Shame. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31, 218–231. doi:10.1177/0146167204271420

McLeod, D. B. (1992). Research on affect in mathematics education: A reconceptualization. In D. A. Grouws (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Mathematics Learning and Teaching (pp. 575–596). New York: Macmillan.

Miller, R. S., & Tangney, J. P. (1994). Differentiating Embarrassment and Shame. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 13(3), 273–287. doi:10.1521/jscp.1994.13.3.273

Stodolsky, S. S. (1985). Telling Math: Origins of Math Aversion and Anxiety. Educational Psychologist, 20, 125–133. doi:10.1207/s15326985ep2003_2

Webber, V. (1998). Dismantling the Altar of Mathematics: A Case Study of the Change from Victim to Actor in Mathematics Learning. Literacy and Numeracy Studies, 8(1), 9–22. How to craft assignments so that students can authentically engage? How to balance that with student control?

How to guide the class, be a teacher, hold students accountable without taking over the project

Can I have students hold each other accountable

My background in qualitative research is thin -- how to best beef it up & then help to train students?

Could give students a pre-test and post-test, but this would seem to violate the safe space and students control I am trying to establish. Are there better ways that I can do an assessment beyond the one the students and I do together?

How can I have the students assess themselves?

Thoughts about having students develop a particular product as a goal such as a paper, website, or book Questions for now: