Faculty & Staff

MARY ELIZABETH DE FREITAS

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR

EDUCATION, RUTH S. AMMON SCHOOL OF

POST HALL ANNEX
ROOM 7

p - 516-877-4194

f - 516-877-4097

e - DEFREITAS@ADELPHI.EDU

 

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Diplomas/Degrees

Ph.D., Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto (2003)
B.Ed., Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto (1999)
M.A., Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto (1990)
B.A., Department of Mathematics, McGill University (1987)

Recent Courses

Critical Literacy In Mathematics And Science Education
Philosophy Of Technology
Teaching Math In The Secondary Inclusive Classroom

Personal Statement

As a teacher educator, I encourage my pre-service teachers to ask difficult questions, beginning with the most challenging: why teach mathematics? My aim is to help teachers envision a mathematics learning experience that is less fragmented and less detached than the perceived norm. I use Ole Skovsmose’s notion of a “critical mathematics education” and emphasize the importance of bringing a socio-cultural lens to the mathematics classroom. I believe that mathematics teachers benefit from reflecting on the theory that informs their practice. My hope is that my students will become flexible, innovative and reflexive practitioners who are dedicated to life-long learning. I draw on my background in the history of mathematics in order to democratize and demystify mathematical knowledge, and to reveal its contingent historicity. My commitment to cultivating student voice and agency in the math classroom follows from my belief that mathematics is often perceived as a silent form of graphism or inscriptional practice that defers meaning and reference. Pedagogy that interrogates the taken-for-granted of mathematics education can create new spaces where alternative visions of learning are pursued.

Teaching Specializations/Interests

Mathematics education, STEM education, Educational Technology, Philosophy of mathematics, Arts-informed and digital research practices, Narrative inquiry, Critical theory, Cultural studies.

Grants/Sponsored Research

REFEREED FUNDED GRANTS
2014 Reconsidering conceptual change in the preschool. Elizabeth de Freitas (Co-PI), Anna Palmer (PI), Auli Orlander (co-PI). Stockholm University. Department of Child and Youth Studies. 100,000 Kroner (~ 16,000 USD).

2013-2017 Informath: Mathematics to enrich learning experiences in science and art museums. Project (Oct. 2013 –Oct. 2017) funded by the National Science Foundation. PI: Ricardo Nemirovsky, Co-PI: Molly Kendon. Advisory Panel: Dr. de Freitas and others. San Diego State’s Center for Resarch in Mathematics and Science Education, San Diego State University. 726,000 USD
2012-2013 Creative diagramming and embodied mathematics: Exploring middle school students interaction with dynamic graphing software. Adelphi University Technology Grant. 5000 USD.
2009-2011 SMART: Science and Math Applied Real-Problem Teaching. Sean Bentley (PI), Elizabeth de Freitas (co-PI), Lee Stemkowski (co-PI). Math Science Partnership. National Science Foundation. 299,012 USD.
2008-2011 Examining teacher discourse and whole class interaction: A social semiotics model for mathematics lesson study. Elizabeth de Freitas (PI) with Betina Zolkower (PI). National Science Foundation, DRK grant, 467,000 USD. (additional funds added in last year)
2008 Adelphi Summer Institute in Mathematics and Science Education. Elizabeth de Freitas (co-PI), Dante Tawfeeq (PI), Mary Jean McCarthy (co-PI). New York State Department of Education 403,000 USD.
2007 Adelphi Summer Institute in Mathematics Education. Elizabeth de Freitas (PI), Dante Tawfeeq (co-PI). New York State Department of Education. 25,000 USD.
2005-2009 Mathematics Teacher Identity: A Narrative Inquiry. Elizabeth de Freitas (PI). Standard Research Grant from The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. 60,304 CAD.
2006-2007 The Role of Representation in Learning Mathematics. Elizabeth de Freitas (PI). Adelphi University Research Grant. 2,150 USD.
2005-2006 Teacher Identity within Mathematics Education. Elizabeth de Freitas (PI). University of Prince Edward Island Major Research Grant. 5000 CAD.
2005 Critical Pedagogy in Mathematics Education. Elizabeth de Freitas (PI).University of Prince Edward Island Travel Grant. 1000 CAD.
2004-2005 The Impact of teaching Style on Mathematics Learning. Elizabeth de Freitas (Co-Investigator). Dan Ryan (PI). University of Prince Edward Island Major Research Grant. 5000 CAD.
2003-2004 Embracing Mathematics: Narratives of Student Resistance and Teacher Development. Elizabeth de Freitas (PI).University of Prince Edward Island New Scholar Grant. 2000 CAD.
2004 Mathematics and the Other: An Unresolvable Life History. Elizabeth de Freitas (PI).University of Prince Edward Island Travel Grant. 1000 CAD.
2003-2004 Canada Council for the Arts, Grants for Writing. Elizabeth de Freitas (PI) Writing grant for developing, researching and writing a book. Canada Council for the Arts, Ottawa, ON. 10,000 CAD.
2001-2002 Toronto Arts Council, Grants for Writing. Elizabeth de Freitas (PI).Writing grant for developing novel. Toronto Arts Council, Toronto, ON. 4000 CAD.
1996-1997 Ontario Arts Council, Grants for Writing. Elizabeth de Freitas (PI).Writing grant awarded through publishing houses. Ontario Arts Council, ON. 1000 CAD.
1994-1995 Canada Council for the Arts, Grants for Writing. Elizabeth de Freitas (PI).Writing grant awarded to complete book, Keel kissing bottom. Canada Council for the Arts, Ottawa, ON. 10,000 CAD.

Books

de Freitas, E. & Sinclair, N. (2014). Mathematics and the body: Material entanglements in the classroom. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

de Freitas, E. & Nolan, K. (Eds.) (2008). Opening the research text: Critical insights and in(ter)ventions into mathematics education. Springer Verlag.

de Freitas, E. (1998). Keel Kissing Bottom. Toronto, On, Canada: Random House.


Book Chapters

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de Freitas, E. (2014). Diagramming the classroom as topological assemblage. In In M. Carlin (Ed.) (Eds.). For a people-yet-to-come: Deleuze and Guattari, politics and education. New York:: Continuum Publishing.

de Freitas, E. (2013). Mapping the materiality of mathematical discourse. In In D. Masny (Ed.) (Eds.). Cartographies of becoming in education: A Deleuzian perspective. Continuum Publishing.

Sinclair, N. & de Freitas, E. (2013). The virtual curriculum: New ontologies for a mobile mathematics. In Y. Li (Ed.) (Eds.). Mathematics curriculum in school education. NEw York, NY: Springer.

de Freitas, E. (2013). Interrogating our research intentions. In In Patricia Leavey (Ed.). (Eds.). Fiction as Research Practice: Short Stories, Novellas, and Novels. Left Coast Press..

de Freitas, E. (2012). The emotional labor of imagining otherwise: Undoing the mastery model of mathematics teacher identity. In J. Faulkner (Ed.). (Eds.). Disrupting pedagogies and teaching the knowledge society: Countering conservative norms with creative practices. IGI Global Publishing.

de Freitas, E. (2010). Regulating mathematics classroom discourse: Text, context and intertextuality. In Walshaw, M. (Ed.) (Eds.). Unpacking pedagogy: New perspectives for mathematics. (pp. 131-161). Charlotte, NC, NC: Information Age Publishing Inc..

de Freitas, E. (2009). School mathematics and curriculum integration: Challenging teacher identity within the hierarchy of disciplines. In In P. Ernest, B. Greer & B. Sriraman (Eds). (Eds.). Critical Issues in Mathematics Education. (pp. 305-318). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

de Freitas, E. (2008). The art of character development: Exploring the unspoken in narrative research. In J.G Knowles, A.L Cole, S. Promislow (Eds.). In Creating Scholartistry: Imagining the Arts-Informed Thesis or Dissertation. Toronto, ON, Canada: Backalong Books & The Centre for Arts-Informed Research.

de Freitas, E. (2008). Interrogating reflexivity: Art, research, and the desire for presence. In In A.L Cole & J.G Knowles (Eds.). The Handbook of th Arts in Qualitative Research: Perspectives, methodologies, Examples, and Issues. CA: Sage Publications.

Nolan, K & de Freitas, E (2008). Foreword to the research text: Mathematics education under cross examination. In In E. de Freitas & K. Nolan (Eds.). Opening the research text: Critical insights and In(ter)ventions into mathematics education. Springer Verlag.

de Freitas E. (2008). Fear of the Political; Timeless Pleasure; Writing as the intrusive third. In E. de Freitas & K. Nolan (Eds.). Opening the research text: Critical insights and In(ter)ventions into mathematics education. Springer Verlag.

de Freitas E. (2008). Critical mathematics education: Recognizing the ethical dimension of problem solving. In In L. Wallowitz (Eds.). Reading as resistance: Social justice pedagogy. NY: Peter Lang Publishing.

de Freitas E. (2008). Splitting teacher identity: The disjunction between personal narrative and procedural discourse in the mathematics classroom. In In T. Brown (Eds.). The psychology of mathematics education: A psychoanalytic displacement. Sense Publishing.

de Freitas, E. (2004). Reclaiming rigor as trust: The playful process of writing fiction. In In A.L Cole & J.G Knowles, L. Nielsen, & T. Lucianna (Eds.). Provoked by art:Theoretical perspectives in arts-informed research. Toronto, ON, Canada: Backalong Books & The Centre for Arts-Informed Research.


Refereed Articles

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de Freitas, E. & Zolkower, B. (2014), Tense and aspect in word problems about motion: Diagram, gesture and the felt experience of time. Mathematics Education Research Journal, November (early access online), DOI 10.1007/s13394-014-0139-2.

de Freitas, E. (2014), de FreitasHow theories of perception deploy the line: Reconfiguring students’ bodies through topo-philosophy. Educational Theory, 64 (3), 285-301..

de Freitas, E. & McCarthy, M.J. (2014), (Dis)orientation and spatial sense: Topological thin-king in the middle grades. PNA, 9(1), 41-51.

Sinclair, N., de Freitas, E. & Ferrara, F. (2013), Virtual encounters: The murky and furtive world of mathematical inventiveness. ZDM – The International Journal of Mathematics Education. ZDM - International Journal of Mathematics Education, 45 (2).

de Freitas, E. (2013), The mathematical event: Mapping the axiomatic and the problematic in school mathematics. Studies in Philosophy and Education.

de Freitas, E. Sinclair, N. (2013), New materialist ontologies in mathematics education: The body in/of mathematics. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 83 (3), 453-470.

de Freitas, E. (2013), What were you thinking? A Deleuzian/Guattarian analysis of communication in the mathematics classroom. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 45 (3), 287-300.

de Freitas, E. & Bentley, S. (2012), Material encounters with mathematics: The case for museum-based cross-curricular integration. International Journal of Educational Research..

de Freitas, E. (2012), The classroom as rhizome: New strategies for diagramming knotted interaction. Qualitative Inquiry, 18(7), 557-570.

de Freitas, E. (2012), The diagram as story: Unfolding the event-structure of the mathematical diagram. For the Learning of Mathematics, 32 (2), 27-33.

de Freitas, E., Wagner, D., Esmonde, E., Christine, Reid, D. (2012), Exploring authority and positioning in mathematics classroom discourse: Professional development workshop activities for teachers. The Canadian Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology, 12(2), 137-159.

Zolkower, B. & de Freitas, E. (2012), Mathematical meaning-making in whole-class conversation: Functional-grammatical study of a paradigmatic text. Language and Dialogue, 2(1), 60-79.

de Freitas, E. & Sinclair, N. (2012), Diagram, gesture, agency: Theorizing embodiment in the mathematics classroom. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 80m(1-2), 133-152.

de Freitas, E. & Zolkower, B. (2011), Developing teacher capacity to explore non-routine problems through a focus on the social semiotics of mathematics classroom discourse. Research in Mathematics Education, 13 (3), 229-247.

de Freitas, E. (2011), Parkour and the built environment: Spatial practices and the plasticity of school buildings. Jorunal of Curriculum Theorizing, 27 (3), 209-220.

de Freitas, E. (2010), de Freitas, E. (2010). Making mathematics public: Aesthetics as the distribution of the sensible. Educational Insights, 13.

de Freitas, E. & Zolkower, B. (2009), Using social semiotics to prepare mathematics teachers to teach for social justice. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education., 12, 187-203.

de Freitas, E. & Paton, J. (2009), (De) facing the self: Poststructural disruptions of the auto-ethnographis text. Qualitative Inquiry, accepted.

de Freitas, E. (2009), Mathematics and its other: Disclocating the feminine. Gender and Education, Accepted.

de Freitas, E. (2008), Bad intentions: Using fiction to interrogate research intentions. Educational Insights, Accepted.

de Freitas, E. (2008), Troubling teacher identity: Preparing mathematics teachers to teach for diversity. Teaching Education, Accepted..

de Freitas, E. (2008), The 5th International Conference on Mathematics Education and Society. Enacting identity through narrative: Interrupting the procedural discourse in mathematics classrooms..

de Freitas, E. (2007), School mathematics and curriculum integration: Challenging teacher identity within the hierarchy of disciplines. Philosophy of Mathematics Education Journal..

Kooy, M. & de Freitas, E. (2007), The diaspora sensibility in teacher identity: Locating self through story. The Canadian Journal of Education, 865-880.

de Freitas, E. (2007), Research fictions: Arts-informed narratives that disrupt the authority of the text. Interchange: A Journal of Education., 335-350.

de Freitas, E. (2007), Com(p)osting presence in the poetry of Carlo Leggo: Writing practices that disperse the presence of the author. Language and Literacy.

Giles, J., Ryan, D., Bellaveau, de Freitas, E., & Casey, R. (2006), Teaching style and learning in a quantitative classroom. Active Learning in Higher Education Journal, 213-225.

de Freitas, E. (2005), The unreliable narrator in narrative research. Narrative Matters Conference Proceedings, 226-236.

de Freitas, E. (2005), Contested positions: How fiction informs empathetic research. International Journal of Education & the Arts: A Journal of Scholarship.

de Freitas, E. (2005), Pre-service teachers and the re-inscription of whiteness: Disrupting dominant cultural codes through texual analysis. Teaching Education, 151-164.

de Freitas, E. (2004), (Dis)locating gender within the universal: Teaching philosophy through narrative. The Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies., 61-72.

de Freitas, E. (2004), Plotting intersections along the political axis: The voices of dissenting mathematics teachers. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 259-274.

de Freitas, E. (2003), Bad intentions: The research interview. Arts-Informed: The Electronic Journal for the Centre of Arts- Informed Research..

Kooy, M., de Freitas, E. (2001), Mapping the movement of teacher development. Among Teachers..


Invited Presentation/Lecture

de Freitas, E. (2014, October). Alternative approaches to the learning of mathematics and science: Concepts, creativity and inclusive materialism. Department of Mathematics and Science Education, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.

de Freitas, E. (2013, December). Discourse and materiality in mathematics education. Waikato University, Tauranga, New Zealand., Tauranga, New Zealand.

de Freitas, E. (2013, December). Factoring the body into student learning. Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

de Freitas, E. (2013, October). Education and the body. Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark.


Conference Presentations/Papers

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de Freitas, E. (2008). Enacting gender through narrative: Performing masculinity in mathematics classrooms. In The Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. New York.

de Freitas, E. (2008). Opening the research text: Mathematics education under cross examination. In The Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. New York.

de Freitas, E. (2008). Enacting identity through narrative: Interrupting the procedural discourse in mathematics classrooms. In The 5th International Conference on Mathematics Education and Society. Portugal.

de Freitas, E. (2007). Troubling teacher identity: Power, presence and procedure in the mathematics classroom. In Qualitative Inquiry Congress. Urbana-Champagne, IL.

de Freitas, E. (2007). The place of forgetting: How buildings address the learning self. In The Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Chicago, IL.

de Freitas, E. (2007). Critical mathematics education: Enhancing the equity principle in mathematics methods courses. In American Mathematics Association. New Orleans, LO.

de Freitas, E. & McAuley, S (2006). Teaching for diversity by troubling whiteness: Face-to-face and far and away. In Atlantic Educators' Annual Conference.

Kooy, M & de Freitas, E (2006). The diaspora sensibility in teacher identity: Locating self through story. In The Canadian Society for the Study of Education. York University, Toronto, Canada.

de Freitas, E. (2006). A narrative inquiry into mathematics teacher identity. In Narrative Matters Conference. Acadia University, Wolfville, NS.

de Freitas, E. (2006). Representing knowledge: Developing pre-service teachers problem solving sills through the use of dynamic computer software. In Canadian Society for the Study of Education Annual Conference. York University, Toronto, Canada.

de Freitas, E. (2006). Class privilege and school mathematics: Teacher stories about access and opportunity. In Canadian Society for the Study of Education Annual Conference. York University, Toronto, Canada.

de Freitas, E. (2006). School Mathematics and social justice: Teacher stories about power and difference. In The Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. San Fransisco, CA.

de Freitas, E. & Brookes, A.L. (2005). Research support groups: Building community, creating scholarship, crossing borders. In The Society of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Conference. University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PEI.

Giles, J., Ryan, E. & de Freitas, E. (2005). A quantitative study of the impact of student-centered instruction in University mathematics education. In The Society of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Conference. University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PEI.

de Freitas, E. (2005). Arts-based educational research and the paradox of reflexivity. In Canadian Society for the Study of Education Annual Conference. London, ON.

de Freitas, E. & Paton, J. (2005). Theorizing the development and disruption of the self in a narrative support group. In Canadian Society for the Study of Education Annual Conference. London, ON.

de Freitas, E. & Paton, J. (2005). The truth about self: Poststructural disruptions of auto-ethnographic narratives. In The Annual Meeting of the American Educational Researchers Association. Montreal, QC.

de Freitas, E. (2005). Interrogating research of reflexivity: (Dis)locating presence and absence in arts-based inquiry. In The Annual Meeting of the American Educational Researchers Association. Montreal, QC.

de Freitas, E. (2005). Critical pedagogy in mathematics education: Developing and supporting mathematics teacher identity. In The Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators Annual Conference. Dallas, TX.

Luciani, T. et al (de Freitas, E.) (2004). Fiction and Mixed Methods Workshop. In Canadian Educational Researchers Association Pre-Conference. University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB.

de Freitas, E. (2004). Whiteness in a Rural Community: Triggering Reflexive Teacher Practive Through the Textual Reading of Popular Culture. In Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies Pre-Conference, Canadian Society for the Study of Education. University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB.

de Freitas, E. (2004). Mathematics and the Other: an unresolvable life history. In Canadian Society for the Study of Education Annual Conference. University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB.

de Freitas, E. (2004). The Unreliable Narrator and the Educational Researcher: A Promising Problematic. In Narrative Matters Conference. Saint Thomas University, Fredericton, NB.

de Freitas, E. (2004). Fictionalizing the educational researcher: The hermeneutics of outsider intentions. In The Annual Meeting of the American Educational Researchers Association. San Diego, CA.