Date of Award

Fall October 2010

Access Restriction


Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Marta P. Baltodano

Second Advisor

Franca Dell'Olio

Third Advisor

Mary K. McCullough


The purpose of this study was to delve into the emerging awareness of the social factors that contribute to the teaching and learning of mathematics by documenting the experiences of Math Literacy Workers in the Young People’s Project, as it formed its Los Angeles Chapter. Twelve high school students, three college students and one program coordinator participated in this research study.

This research study focused on a series of math literacy workshops conducted as part of an after-school program at Roosevelt Elementary School. Built upon the legacy of the Mississippi Freedom Riders, the Young People’s Project has developed an engaging program that allows participants to take direct action in transforming their communities. The design of a pedagogy rooted in the tenants of civil rights, youth leadership, civic engagement, criticalmathliteracy, situated learning theory, cultural relevance, peer-to-peer education, social empowerment, grassroots leadership, and community organizing, enabled participants to develop their identity as agents of social change. This research examined the capacity of critical literacy and the methodologies used to promote math literacy and youth leadership as aspects of the Math Literacy Workers training program.

The Math Literacy Workers training program positively impacted youth participants’ math literacy, problem solving, academic achievement, communication, organizing skills, leadership capacity, self-confidence, civic engagement, critical literacy, and self-identity. Participants described how the program allowed them to achieve praxis, through continuously reflecting on their identities and the social significance of their experiences as they took direct action as facilitators of the math literacy workshops at Roosevelt Elementary School.