Enyedy, N., Danish, J. A., & Fields, D.. (2011). Negotiating the “Relevant” in Culturally Relevant Mathematics. Canadian Journal for Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education 11(3).

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ABSTRACT: One approach to promoting successful engagement of underrepresented groups in mathematics classrooms is Culturally Relevant Pedagogy (CRP). However, it has been argued that CRP risks essentializing students or watering down academic content. We report our analysis of a case study of a group of three 6th grade students who took part in a 6-week mathematics curriculum. This curriculum used Geographical Information System (GIS) maps to engage students in designing personally meaningful research projects while learning about measures of central tendency (i.e., learning statistics). The case study was chosen as representative of how students in this urban classroom (47 total) successfully navigated the curriculum. While successful, the intervention highlights the kinds of negotiations that students engaged in with each other, the teacher, and the curriculum as they co-constructed their own meaning of relevance. The goal of our analysis is to illustrate the importance of recognizing multiple forms of relevance and supporting ongoing negotiations of these multiple forms.