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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.905 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Print: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.2014008175
pages 55-74

EQUITY IN MATHEMATICS TEXTBOOKS: A NEW LOOK AT AN OLD ISSUE

Katrina Piatek-Jimenez
Department of Mathematics, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan 48859, USA
Matthew Madison
Department of Educational Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602, USA
Julia Przybyla-Kuchek
Department of Mathematics, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan 48859, USA

ABSTRACT

The images portrayed in textbooks have the ability to influence students' beliefs about self, ethnicity, social class, and gender. Several studies in the 1970s and 1990s documented the lack of equity in mathematics textbooks with respect to gender; however, few studies have been conducted recently. Research with a focus on minority representation in mathematics textbooks is sparse. This study examines equity in mathematics textbooks with a focus on gender, race, and ethnicity. We analyzed every image in three current middle school mathematics textbooks series commonly used in the United States. Each image was coded for gender, age, and race/ethnicity. We also examined how these groups are being portrayed with a focus on activities and careers by analyzing trends found in the photographs. While it is evident that an effort was made for all groups to be represented, the results indicate that groups are not portrayed equally in activities and careers. With respect to gender, males are portrayed as being more mathematical and are shown in more careers than females. Regarding race and ethnicity, Whites are portrayed as being more mathematical and more active and are shown in more careers than minorities.


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