Article Summary "Learning discourse of race and mathematics in classroom interaction" By Shah, Niral & Leonardo, Zeus

In this article, the author uses poststructural theory. More specifically, "poststructural theory understands the local in terms of global historical processes and forces, linking micro-level phenomena to macro-systems of power" (Lewis & Moje in Shah & Leonardo, 2016, p. 53).

Knowledge is understood in this theory is by social interaction. This is explained by Shah & Leonardo (2016, p. 53) by stating that "Of particular interest are the features and dynamics of the local settings in which social interactions take place, and how mediation by cultural tools and signs produces transformations in knowledge and in the self". A person's relationship with other people affects how that person processes the information he gets. Because of the influence of other people, if a large group has a specific opinion, then that opinion is constructed into a collective "truth" that applies to a society or community. This is stated by Shah & Leonardo (2016, p. 52) when quoting Foucault's opinion, namely "these knowledges get taken up as "truth" and become part of the collective "common sense".

Learning understood in this theory is to make observations on other people to be then translated by the students concerned. This was stated by Shah & Leonardo (2016, p. 61), namely "these discourses prefigure the learning environment, specifically in terms of how students can interpret what they observe independent of students' actual performance on the test".

Teaching understood from this theory is how teachers interact with students. This is important because the teacher signals students so that students feel they can or cannot do something. Clearly, Shah & Leonardo (2016, p. 54) state it with the following sentence "They can affect students' participation in learning environments through interactions with teachers who position them as capable or incapable of performing cognitive tasks expected of them".

Because learning is obtained by interacting with other people, the data is obtained by conducting interviews, field observations, and field notes. Data should also be taken in schools that have a variety of races. Research conducted by Shah & Leonardo (2016, p. 59) was conducted in a high school located in Northern California with the distribution of student data is 8% Asian, 25% Black, 48% Latin@, 3% Polynesian, 14% White, and 2 % Mixed or Other.



Shah, N., & Leonardo, Z. (2016). Learning discourses of race and mathematics in classroom interaction. Power and privilege in the learning sciences: Critical and sociocultural theories of learning. New York, NY: Routledge.


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