PME-NA Supports Critical Research and Discussions about Mathematics


PME-NA is dedicated to promoting the exchange of scientific ideas related to the psychology of mathematics education both in the U.S. and internationally; to promoting research among mathematics educators, psychologists, mathematicians, and mathematics teachers; and to furthering a deeper understanding of the psychological aspects of teaching and learning mathematics. These ideals require the participation of a wide variety of researchers with multiple perspectives about the nature of mathematics teaching and learning. Working from this position, PME-NA supports the work of Dr. Rochelle Gutiérrez and other equity-focused researchers who push us to question the ways in which we have traditionally positioned mathematics education.

The recent October 2017 PME-NA Annual Conference in Indianapolis featured Dr. Rochelle Gutiérrez as the opening plenary speaker, where she presented the construct of Mathematx as a humanizing way of looking at mathematics, one that incorporates various forms of Indigenous mathematical knowledge. Dr. Gutiérrez connected to an established body of work that expands the histories of mathematics beyond predominantly Eurocentric accounts. Dr. Gutiérrez’s plenary spurred critical discussion throughout the conference, something PME-NA has always valued. Historically, PME-NA has prided itself in engaging in topics from multiple perspectives, particularly those pertaining to equity and critical mathematics. For instance, we host an equity working group and previous conferences have featured plenary talks by scholars who take a critical stance.

Moving forward, PME-NA encourages its members to engage in collegial yet critical dialogue around the teaching and learning of mathematics. We welcome productive discussions around issues that we do not always agree upon, as such discussions help us clarify what is important to us as a field. We call for membership action that includes the productive and responsible use of social media and other outlets to participate in the ongoing narrative around critical issues in mathematics education and participation in future PME-NA conferences and working groups. We must individually and collectively stand up for human decency and for academic freedom, and remind the world that mathematics education is a vital and expansive field of research. We look forward to the continued discussion throughout the year and at next year’s PME-NA conference in South Carolina where we will consider the enduring challenge of “supporting all students through a concerted focus on the braiding of equitable teaching in our collective research.”