Encyclopedia of Mathematics Education

Living Edition
| Editors: Steve Lerman

Cultural Influences in Mathematics Education

  • Abbe HerzigEmail author
  • Olof B. SteinthorsdottirEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-77487-9_38-6


Extensive educational scholarship investigates why different demographic groups of students are less successful than others; much of that scholarship has focused on characteristics of the students themselves, for example, their motivation, affect, attitudes, preparation, and ability. In this chapter, we turn from characteristics of students to identify some ways that cultural and societal contexts surrounding schooling and mathematics affect opportunities and performance for groups of people who have traditionally been underrepresented in mathematics. Understanding these contexts and the constraints they impose on some students is crucial for the development of strategies to create more accessible and equitable learning environments.

Miners used to take a canary into the mines to signal whether or not the air was safe to breath. If the canary thrived, the atmosphere was safe. If the canary became sick or died, the atmosphere was toxic. Members of oppressed groups – people of...


Access Belonging Barriers Context Culture Equity 
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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational Theory and PracticeUniversity at AlbanyAlbanyUSA
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsUniversity of Northern IowaCedar FallsUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Bharath Sriraman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mathematical SciencesThe University of MontanaMissoulaUSA