First Advisor

Eva Thanheiser

Date of Award

Spring 6-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Mathematics and University Honors


Mathematics and Statistics




Social justice and education, Mathematics -- Study and teaching, Body mass index -- Study and teaching, Stigma (Social psychology)




Teaching Math for Social Justice (TMSJ) lessons are designed to explain math in social justice contexts. TMSJ leads to better engagement with math content by providing relevant contexts. Because the field is so new, there are math topics not yet covered and areas of social justice that also have gone unaddressed by TMSJ. One of these topics is the problem of weight discrimination. This paper will explain how Body Mass Index (BMI) can be used as a jumping off point to introduce the issue of weight discrimination. Then, a detailed lesson plan is provided which connects the historical origin of BMI to its modern day consequences to health and stigma. The plan includes background information, instructions for implementation, and multiple activities. The plan is based off an existing template provided by a popular TMSJ lesson book and it places emphasis on Trauma Informed Teaching practices. Finally, there is a reflection on running the lesson effectively to best communicate the social justice context in a way that is beneficial and constructive to students.


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