Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Project-Based Social Justice Mathematics: A case study of five 6th grade students
by McHugh, Maighread L., Ph.D., New Mexico State University, 2015, 281; 10028952
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore how five sixth grade female students navigated the process of project-based learning as they designed and implemented their own project centered on mathematics while using a social justice lens. The theoretical frameworks of Authentic Intellectual Work and Social Justice Mathematics are blended to support a proposed new pedagogy of Project Based Social Justice Mathematics (PB-SJM).

Five female participants contributed to the findings of this study, all sixth grade students attending a project-based learning, charter middle school called The Academy of Innovation and Creativity. Data collection occurred throughout the entirety of a four-week project-process, including extensive field notes, two interviews per participant, multiple physical artifacts from each participant, and formal presentations by each participant.

Adapted from Gutstein's (2006) work with 3 C's (Classical, Community, and Critical), four propositions served as the basis for analysis, also known as the four knowledge bases or the Four C's—Content Knowledge, Community Connections, Critical Inequity, and Change Agency. The major findings of the study centered on the Four C's, specifically producing nine total themes. Within Content Knowledge, three themes emerged, that of a) Learning Targets—Understanding and Application, b) Complex, Non-Algorithmic Thinking, and c) Humanization of Mathematics. Two themes emerged in Community Connections, that of d) Personalizing Context and e) Experts as Sources. Likewise, two themes emerged within Critical Inequity, specifically f) Developmental Readiness and g) Growing Understanding of Critical. Lastly, Change Agency also produced two themes of h) Belief—Personal Agency and i) Action—Voice is Power. Collectively, the Four C's and the nine themes represent the findings of this research study.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Uribe-Florez, Lida
School: New Mexico State University
School Location: United States -- New Mexico
Source: DAI-A 77/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mathematics education, Middle School education, Education
Keywords: Case Study, Mathematics Education, Middle School, Project-Based Learning, Social Justice, Social Justice Mathematics
Publication Number: 10028952
ISBN: 978-1-339-52930-1
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