Article Summary

Discoursing Mathematically: Using Discourse Analysis to Develop a Sociocritical Perspective of Mathematics Education   PDF
Aria Razfar

2012, Vol. 22, No. 1, 39-62

This article explores how the concepts of discourse and its methodological extension discourse analysis can help mathematics educators re-conceptualize their practices using a sociocultural view of learning. It provides conceptual and methodological tools as well as activities that can be helpful in mathematics methods courses and professional development sessions aimed at developing a more situated and social view of mathematical discourse and its relationship to student learning, particularly how mathematical discourse relates to Language Minority Students (LMS). In this article, I discuss the main features of discourse as a framework for mathematics educators and how participants in a cross-site research center collectively engaged and developed a more robust understanding of the significance of discourse and discourse analysis for understanding mathematics as a sociocultural practice. This article describes learning activities whose instructional goal is to develop a sociocritical understanding of language and mathematics. The activities presented here can be adopted as a model for engaging mathematics teacher educators and mathematics teachers to deepen their understanding of the inextricable link between language and mathematics, and of mathematics as a cultural and political activity.

About the Author:
Aria Razfar is an Associate Professor of Literacy, Language and Culture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research is grounded in sociocultural and critical theories of language, learning, and development. He teaches courses on linguistics for teachers and currently directs several nationally funded projects aimed at training teachers of English learners to develop academic literacy practices through mathematics, science, and action research.

Last modified: 30 July 2012.
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