Equity-Directed Instructional Practices: Beyond the Dominant Perspective

Laurie H. Rubel


In this article, the author synthesizes four equity-directed instructional practices: standards-based mathematics instruction, complex instruction, culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP), and teaching mathematics for social justice (TMfSJ). The author organizes these practices according to the dominant and critical axes in Gutiérrez’s (2007a) equity framework. Among 12 teachers from 11 schools in a large urban school district, the author presents case studies of 3 teachers who excelled with the aforementioned dominant equity-directed practices but struggled with the critical practices of connecting to students’ experiences called for in CRP and critical mathematics called for in TMfSJ. The analysis explicitly explores the role of whiteness in these struggles. The author presents implications and recommendations for mathematics teacher education on how to better support teachers for equitable teaching that includes these critical equity-directed practices.


complex instruction, culturally relevant pedagogy, standards-based instruction, teaching mathematics for social justice, urban mathematics education

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Illuminating Urban Excellence