Vol. 22 No. 1 (2012)

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

Published 2015-05-01


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.