Linguistic Tools for Exploring Issues of Equity

  • Mary Schleppegrell
Part of the Mathematics Education Library book series (MELI, volume 55)


This chapter describes linguistics tools that researchers have used to explore and illuminate equity issues in the mathematics classroom. Drawing primarily from research using a systemic functional linguistics (SFL) framework, it illustrates how close attention to language forms and the meanings they present can inform questions about the nature of the mathematics that is offered to students through classroom discourse, the views of mathematics activity that students develop, and how students are positioned as learners through classroom and pedagogical discourses. Analysis of thematic patterns, process/participant configurations, modality, and mood/speech function enables researchers to explore the integrity of the mathematics that is taught, how concepts are developed over time, and the processes through which knowledge is developed. In focus are issues such as the agency of students and the authoritativeness of the teacher as well as the role of the teacher as mediator of learning.


Mathematics Classroom Equity Issue Classroom Discourse Classroom Interaction Mathematics Discourse 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I would like to thank David Pimm for helpful comments in the development of this chapter, while not holding him responsible in any way for the final product.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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