Abstract by Emma Holdaway
Identities of Students with Mathematics Learning Dis/abilities
While current mathematics education reform movements underscore the importance of teaching mathematics conceptually and building students’ problem solving abilities, special education pedagogical practices tend to emphasize memorization, direct instruction, and the explicit teaching of rules and procedures. Students with mathematics learning dis/abilities are oppressed by current definitions of normalcy in school mathematics. Labeling students with mathematics learning dis/abilities as “unable” to succeed in school mathematics is extremely damaging. The negative assumptions, beliefs, and expectations resulting from ableistic practices in the education system color the interactions educators, parents, and other students have with students with mathematics learning dis/abilities. These interactions in turn influence how students with mathematics learning dis/abilities view and position themselves as learners and doers of mathematics. My study builds on the theoretical framework of positioning theory (Harré, 2012) in order to better understand the mathematical identities of students with mathematics learning dis/abilities.