One way in which democratic classrooms can reflect a democracy is by guaranteeing students some inalienable rights; Kalinec-Craig (2017) outlined Olga Torres’s Rights of the Learner (Torres’s RotL) in mathematics classrooms. However, democracies rely not only on citizens’ rights, but on their willingness to take up certain responsibilities as well. We extend this idea to mathematics classrooms to explore the consequences of the interplay of learners’ rights and responsibilities, in the context of the preparation of elementary mathematics teachers. In addition, we explore ways in which learners may overexercise their rights of the learner or opt out of exercising them entirely and the effects of each of those choices on mathematical learning in the classroom.

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Amanda Jansen, Lorianne Kalb, and Denise McCunney, Middle School Mathematics Teachers’ Efforts to Foster Classroom Democracies