for the learning of mathematics

an international journal of mathematics education

Amy Noelle Parks - Vol. 29 Num. 1 (2009)
 Doomsday Device: Rethinking the Deployment of the 'Achievement Gap' in Equity Arguments


I adopt a poststructural perspective to argue that the current focus in mathematics education on measuring, reducing, and explaining the achievement gap is dangerous and can be counter-productive to the equity-oriented arguments that those mobilizing 'gap” language want to make. The reiteration of the achievement gap in scholarly arguments can work to reinforce the very hierarchies that those using the language often say they wish to challenge. I suggest two techniques borrowed from poststructural theorists that may offer opportunities for mathematics educators to work.