Unpacking mathematics preservice teachers’ conceptions of equity

Rebecca McGraw, Anthony Fernandes, Jennifer A. Wolfe, Becca Jarnutowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This report describes initial findings from a larger study conducted in the USA focusing on mathematics teacher preparation and beginning teacher practice as they relate to equity. We particularly address in this report a gap in the literature with respect to pre-service teachers’ conceptions of equity and equitable practice as they relate to issues of identity and power at the end of their teacher education programs. Interviews of 33 students near the completion of their teacher education programs were analyzed using Gutiérrez’s four dimensions of equity—access, achievement, identity, and power. Our findings suggest that these pre-service teachers had ways of thinking about these domains that were both varied and nuanced, with many students describing critical aspects of equitable instruction including attention to bias, representation, student participation, and classroom power structures. Our findings are consistent with prior research in that future teachers described many ideas related to equitable teacher practice that focused on access to mathematics, and, in many cases, deficit perspectives persisted. At the same time, our study suggests that beginning teachers may complete their education programs with critical knowledge around equity that could provide fertile ground for further professional learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMathematics Education Research Journal
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Equity
  • Identity
  • Mathematics
  • Power
  • Teaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Mathematics
  • Education


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