Agenda Setting, Enlightened Self-Interest, and Equity in Mathematics Education

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


In many recent documents and calls for reform in school mathematics, issues of educational equity have been transformed into concerns that are couched in terms of enlightened self-interest. That self-interest is predicated on the need for increased levels of mathematical, scientific, and technical knowledge for people to participate in the workforce, world economy, and our social institutions. Failure to educate women, minorities, and the poor adequately will result in the creation of a permanently unemployable underclass within our society, in exacerbated social problems, and in economic problems for our country. Equity, on the other hand, is defined in terms of social arrangements as judged against standards of justice. When these issues are scrutinized in terms of equity, it becomes clear that—though there are large areas of overlap between concerns for equity and for enlightened self-interest—these are two distinct constructs that should be kept separate. This article ends with an indication of three broad ways in which the setting of an agenda for equity in mathematics education might proceed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-56
Number of pages35
JournalPeabody Journal of Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Agenda Setting, Enlightened Self-Interest, and Equity in Mathematics Education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this