Affirming Critical Scholars

Affirming Critical Scholars in Mathematics Education

Dear members of the American Educational Research Association’s Special Interest Group for Research in Mathematics Education (SIG-RME),

The bylaws for our SIG state: “The purpose of SIG-RME is to promote and to disseminate research, development, and evaluative efforts in mathematics education, and to promote and encourage scholarly and productive exchanges among members of all the constituencies that affect, or are affected by, research on the learning and teaching of mathematics.”

Academic freedom is essential to our purpose. Critical scholarship, which interrogates the social relations and power dynamics that are inextricably intertwined with mathematics education, is essential to our purpose. Supporting critical scholars, especially the scholars of color who are most often targets of harassment and abuse, is essential to our purpose.

The recent campaign against Dr. Rochelle Gutiérrez—Professor of Mathematics Education and Latina/Latino Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and member of this SIG since 1990—reminds us that our purpose must be more than words in our bylaws, invoked during ceremonial occasions. It must be actively chosen and lived on a day-to-day basis.

We take this moment to affirm the value of Dr. Gutiérrez’s many contributions to mathematics education and to denounce the attacks on her and others. This is not an isolated incident; it is part of an organized movement to perpetuate and maintain the systems of inequality that critical scholars like Dr. Gutiérrez examine in their work. These attacks are antithetical to our values as a community seeking to understand and improve the learning and teaching of mathematics. We encourage SIG members to actively participate in conversations about how we can stand together to support critical scholars under attack and “promote and encourage scholarly and productive exchanges” that are essential to advancing mathematics education for all people.


The SIG-RME Executive Board

  • Ruth Heaton, Co-chair
  • Sarah Lubienski, Co-chair
  • Mariana Levin, Treasurer
  • Niral Shah, Communications
  • Katherine Lewis, Electronics
  • Imani Masters Goffney, Awards
  • Nicole Louie, Events
  • Kristy Litster, Graduate Student Representative

Related links:

  • Statement from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
  • Press release from the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators
  • Statement from TODOS: Mathematics for ALL