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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology