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Gifted Educators and Equity Demands in Transforming Tier 3 Mathematics Interventions Involving Students of Color

Sun, April 24, 2:30 to 4:00pm PDT (2:30 to 4:00pm PDT), Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, Floor: South Building, Level 1, Pacific Ballroom 19


In this presentation, we describe a participatory design research project on our experiences as members of a university-based urban teacher preparation program. A key feature of this program is its anti-racists commitment to preparing teachers to become dual-certified in elementary and special education. The participants include two prospective elementary teachers and a course instructor. The research focuses on exploring the conditions that contributed to the emergence of prospective teachers of color’s brilliance in designing tier-three mathematics interventions involving students of color. As a requirement to complete the program, participants were enrolled in a five-week university summer course on specialized instructional techniques. In this course, the instructor foregrounded six strategic equity demands for participants to unpack, make meaning, and guide their tier three mathematics intervention project for a student of color. The equity demands included enactments such as intersectional justice (Davis, 2016), culturally responsive and sustaining practices (Paris, 2012), and building from Black feminism methodologies (Love, 2016).

For our research, we draw on Disability Critical Race Theory ([DisCrit], Annamma et al., 2013) and Annamma and Morrison’s (2018) concept of DisCrit Classroom Ecology to ground both the interactions that took place between prospective teachers, their course peers, and the instructor as well as the methodologies prospective teachers leaned on to support their innovations. In framing DiCrit Classroom Ecology, Annamma and Morrison center W. E. B. Du Bois’ (1903/1994) Gift Theory, which connects to our research’s aims. Specifically, we posit that innovations emerged in part due to (1) prospective teachers of color and their students of color bring many gifts, including possessing interlocking consciousnesses based on their multiply marginalized identities, (2) these gifts operated within participants’ intersectional justice stance of shared struggle (Davis, 2016), and (3) the intentional course anchoring of the six strategic equity demands and various resources participants gleaned to concretize those demands.

The participatory design research involves a collaborative and iterative method for systemic repair (Booker & Goldman, 2016). We collaboratively engage in critical reflections, discourse, and coursework artifact analysis to construct meanings of our individual and collective experiences. Through interpretive methods (Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2013), we plan to collectively analyze data sources including audio-recorded sessions of our conversations and coursework artifacts (e.g., final project, assignments, course readings and notes, critical self-reflections). This research contributes to the pressing calls to address deep-seated issues in teacher education that perpetuates inequities (Goodwin, 2019) and building knowledge of sociopolitical struggles in mathematics teacher education involving disabled students of color (Authors, in press).