Desarrollando Nepantler@s: Rethinking the Knowledge Needed to Teach Mathematics

A talk by Rochelle Gutiérrez of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

6-7:30 pm Monday, Oct. 3
University Room, Hyde Hall
Institute for the Arts & Humanities
UNC-Chapel Hill 
For directions visit:

As American researchers and policy makers race to close the “achievement gap,” greater emphasis on mathematical knowledge for teaching has taken hold. School districts, concerned that their teachers do not know their mathematics in deep or flexible enough ways, are investing in professional development of teachers. These approaches, however fail to recognize that the achievement gap is a social construction, that equity in mathematics means much more than mere access to a rigorous curriculum, and that teaching is a negotiated practice (with students, parents, and others). Gutiérrez argues that a model of knowledge needed for teaching mathematics and addressing equity involves political knowledge. An important component to developing this political knowledge is being able to recognize multiple realities (Nepantla), developing conocimiento with students, becoming comfortable with uncertainty, and seeing tension as a means to birth new knowledge. 

Rochelle Gutiérrez is Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Latina/Latino Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has served as a member of the RAND National Mathematics Study Panel, the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Increasing Urban High School Students’ Engagement and Motivation to Learn, and the board of directors of Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS).  She was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to study secondary mathematics teachers in Zacatecas, México, and is currently serving as editor for a special issue on identity/power for the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education. She is PI on an NSF grant that seeks to understand what it takes to develop high school mathematics teachers who engage their students in rigorous mathematics and are committed to social justice. Before and throughout graduate school, she taught middle and high school mathematics to adolescents in East San José, California.

Sponsored by the UNC Program in Latina/o Studies, the Institute for the Arts & Humanities, the Carolina Latina/o Collaborative, and the UNC School of Education.