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Photo of Gutstein, Eric (Rico)

Eric (Rico) Gutstein

Professor of Mathematics Education

Curriculum & Instruction


Building & Room:

3420 ETMSW


1040 W. Harrison St. (M/C 147), Chicago, IL 60607

Office Phone:

(312) 413-2410


Rico Gutstein's research and teaching interests include mathematics education, teaching for social justice and critical literacies in an urban, multicultural context.

He also focuses on Freirean approaches to teaching/learning and Chicago school policy.

Selected Publications

Gutstein, E. (2006). Reading and writing the world with mathematics: Toward a pedagogy for social justice. New York: Routledge.

Gutstein, E., & Peterson, B. (Eds.). (2013). Rethinking mathematics: Teaching social justice by the numbers (2nd Ed.). Milwaukee, WI: Rethinking Schools, Ltd.

Gutstein, E., & Lipman, P. (2013). Rebirth of the Chicago Teachers Union and possibilities for a counter-hegemonic education movement. Monthly Review, 65(2), 1-10.

Gutstein, E. (2013). Whose community is this? Mathematics of neighborhood displacement. Rethinking Schools, 27(3), 11-17.

Service to Community

I am also a co-founder of Teachers for Social Justice, a 15-year old education activist organization supporting teachers both in and outside of the classroom. TSJ works to help teachers rethink classroom practices and, in partnership with community organizations and the Chicago Teachers Union, is active in the struggle against education privatization locally and nationally.


1993 - PhD, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Computer Sciences

Research Currently in Progress

My research and teaching interests include mathematics education, teaching for social justice and critical literacies in an urban, multicultural context, Freirean approaches to teaching/learning, and Chicago school policy.

In my work, I argue that K-12 students need to be prepared through their mathematics education to investigate and critique injustice (such as racism and language discrimination), and to challenge, in words and actions, oppressive structures and acts. I prepare teachers who can teach mathematics and other subjects in this manner to students in urban settings.

I have taught mathematics for social justice in my own classroom in a Chicago public middle school and a high school, the Greater Lawndale/Little Village High School for Social Justice (also a public school). There I co-taught with and supported math teachers, helped teachers and students develop/teach/learn from social justice mathematics projects, and worked for years with a group of students who were co-researchers, public advocates, and spokespeople for teaching and learning mathematics for social justice. Together, we (teachers, students, myself) studied the process of creating a critical mathematics program for the school, focused on developing students' sociopolitical consciousness, sense of social agency, and their strong cultural/social identities.