In this thesis, mathematics educators are conceptualized as individuals with multiple, simultaneous figured worlds that inform their decisions while planning. The study explores how two mathematics educators negotiated and orchestrated their figured worlds to plan two mathematics lessons for social justice. The results highlight how numerous the figured worlds each participant surfaced through background interviews. Some of the figured worlds were elicited by the interview questions (i.e., Race, Family, Social Justice Teaching) but other figured worlds organically surfaced through the interviews (i.e., Sexuality, Community, Activism, Critical Information Consumption). A discursive analysis of a selection of these figured worlds revealed conceptualizations that were unique and similar between the two participants' figured worlds. Only some of these figured worlds were orchestrated in the planning of two social justice lessons. First, the figured world of Mathematics Teaching was demonstrated to be in apparent tension with the figured world of Social Justice teaching but were orchestrated by the participants to be valued together through adaptation of the lesson to include both mathematical and social justice goals. Second, the figured worlds of Quantitative Reasoning and Social Justice Teaching were negotiated, with one participant valuing student reasoning with quantities over students reasoning with the injustice evident in the tasks. Third, personal figured worlds (Race, Gender, Church, etc.) limited the participants from fully anticipating the possible reactions of students during the lesson. The results of this study can inform teacher educator practice of the complexity of teacher identity work, particularly to engage in teaching math for social justice.



College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Mathematics Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





teaching mathematics for social justice, identity work, figured worlds, lesson planning