Faculty Profiles

Mary Elizabeth De Freitas

Ruth S. Ammon School of Education, College of Education and Health Sciences

Alumnae Hall 236

General Information



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)

Personal Statement

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.

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