Conducting “Good” Equity Research in Mathematics Education: A Question of Methodology

Erika C. Bullock


Hostetler (2005) describes “good” education research as that which attends to the well-being of students, teachers, and communities. In this essay, the author proposes measuring equity-based research in mathematics education against Hostetler’s standard. She argues that current equity-based research has not adequately addressed the mathematical experiences of marginalized students due to its primary focus on the “achievement gap.” Such a focus leaves the social and political hierarchies that produce marginalization intact and unquestioned. She presents methodological diversity as a strategy for reconceptualizing mathematics education research in a way that addresses the more foundational quality and opportunity gaps that are at the root of equity issues in mathematics education. She also offers embracing methodological clarity, shifting the site of research, and pursuing interdisciplinary opportunities as three ways in which mathematics education researchers can begin to equip themselves to address equity-based mathematics education research in new and different ways that may better address the well-being of marginalized students.

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