This study examines high school students’ views of mathematics as a tool for social inquiry in light of their classroom experiences using mathematics to explore social issues. A critical theoretical perspective on mathematics literacy is used to ascertain the ways in which their views challenge or affirm the dominant image of mathematics in society. The study concludes that mathematics applications addressing social justice issues are promising vehicles for developing students’ appreciation of mathematics as a social problem-solving tool, an awareness of its limitations, and a healthy skepticism toward its uses.

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Anita Bright, Lift Every Voice and Sing