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Social Justice Mathematics is a form of Critical Mathematics in which students and teachers use mathematics to investigate injustice in society and work to make social change.

Mathematics and Social Justice 

Teachers can teach mathematics for, in, and about social justice. 

Teaching about social justice.

Teaching in a socially just manner.

Teaching for social justice. 

Social Justice Mathematics Informative Resources

Social Justice Mathematics Curriculum Materials 

Spatial Justice (Urban vs. Natural)

  • Rubel (2022) in a public webinar here, said​

    • "So teaching math for spatial justice builds on Marylin Frankenstein and Rico Gustein's work on teaching math for social justice but adds the lens of place the idea here is you use math to study a place to identify how power relations are shaping and being shaped by place and to use math towards reimagining place so that the power relations are more equitable and so that the shared places are better cared for. So what is spatial justice? Just as there were different ways of thinking about place, we can also come at spatial justice in some different ways as well.

      • The sociologist Henre Lebefvre talks about spatial justice as the right to the city, which means that everyone should be able to participate in the production of urban space. And to access the advantages of city life, there should be freedom from imposed spatial segregation, and people should have the right to public services that meet their needs in health, education, welfare, this is an urbanist point of view about spatial justice."

      • Another perspective and spatial Justice considers human rights but relative to the natural world and thinks about environmental justice. Environmental justice is still often seen in a human-centric way as in all people should have equitable natural resources, like clean water and air or that all people should be equitably exposed to environmental harms like pollutants and contaminations and the impacts of climate change.

      • Indigenous perspectives about place or about land would add a sense of the planet itself as a primary living actor, with its own set of rights. Should a river ever have rights? Should trees have legal standing? in some places, they do in New Zealand and India, for example, they granted rivers legal rights. Rather than focus only on divvying up the planet's resources and equal ways environmental justice could be considered in relation to the survival of the natural world as the ultimate priority."​

    • "

    • So the first theme is about maps and and mapping and I think maps and mapping, as you can already tell from my presentation, I really jazzed by maps and mapping. Laurie Rubel: It as a concept, and as a technology maps are at the crossroads of place and mathematics. In terms of how the are so involved in representing data geometry scaling and often used in models and, as you all know, you can use maps to teach all kinds of mathematical ideas.

    • But something that is often overlooked in math classes, is that what is mapped how and by whom and perhaps as importantly, what is not mapped.

    •  These are inherently political questions, what if we were to move away from using maps as neutral maps function as political discourse that always represent a particular point of view and hold great power.

  • Bringing Social Justice into the Classroom 

    • To the to the students lives, maybe they want to. Laurie Rubel: play or sing or dance as a way to release stress. I mean yeah we do want to play and sing and dance with children, but I think also we need to tell them the truth and they're they're going to hear the truth and so i'd rather than hear the truth from me and with my ways of looking at it and give them tools to cope with. It rather than communicate to people that actually schools and place where where we don't grapple with the real thing, so I understand the fear and I think everything needs to come in balance. But in my experience it students have appreciated me being honest about things that are outside.

  • The Washington Post

  • Gerrymandering Game:

  • ArcGIS

  • Social Explorer

  • LocalGround


  •  (T2TGlobal) has global math stories to explore







  • NyTimes




Social Justice Mathematics Topics 

  • Some of these topics are based on the materials by the authors and contributors of the books mentioned above. 

  • Racism or racial profiling 

  • Education

  • Wealth Inequality

  • Power Inequality

  • Globalization

  • Local issues

  • Economics or consumerism

  • Labor issues

  • Women’s issues

  • Health; food/water access

  • Incarceration

  • Government issues

  • Immigration 

  • Climate Change 

  • Census Data 

  • Prison Populations

  • Food Options

  • Gerrymandering 

  • Home Buying 

  • Poverty

Social Justice Mathematics Series (Coming Soon)



Youtube Search

Ron English

References in Progress

Paulo Freire

Rico Gutstein, PhD

Social Justice in Mathematics Education: Comfort Akwaji-Anderson

Math as Social Justice | Gina Cherkowski | TEDxRundleAcademy

Common Core Math and Social Justice - Gregory Larnell, PhD

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