Critical Mathematics Education

Theory, Praxis and Reality

Edited by:
Paul Ernest, University of Exeter, UK
Bharath Sriraman, University of Montana
Nuala Ernest

A volume in the series: Cognition, Equity & Society: International Perspectives. Editor(s): Bharath Sriraman, University of Montana.

Published 2016

Mathematics is traditionally seen as the most neutral of disciplines, the furthest removed from the arguments and controversy of politics and social life. However, critical mathematics challenges these assumptions and actively attacks the idea that mathematics is pure, objective, and value‐neutral. It argues that history, society, and politics have shaped mathematics—not only through its applications and uses but also through molding its concepts, methods, and even mathematical truth and proof, the very means of establishing truth. Critical mathematics education also attacks the neutrality of the teaching and learning of mathematics, showing how these are value‐laden activities indissolubly linked to social and political life. Instead, it argues that the values of openness, dialogicality, criticality towards received opinion, empowerment of the learner, and social/political engagement and citizenship are necessary dimensions of the teaching and learning of mathematics, if it is to contribute towards democracy and social justice.

This book draws together critical theoretic contributions on mathematics and mathematics education from leading researchers in the field. Recurring themes include: The natures of mathematics and critical mathematics education, issues of epistemology and ethics; Ideology, the hegemony of mathematics, ethnomathematics, and real‐life education; Capitalism, globalization, politics, social class, habitus, citizenship and equity.

The book demonstrates the links between these themes and the discipline of mathematics, and its critical teaching and learning. The outcome is a groundbreaking collection unified by a shared concern with critical perspectives of mathematics and education, and of the ways they impact on practice.

Foreword, Paul Ernest and Bharath Sriraman. Introduction, Bharath Sriraman. Mathematics: A Critical Rationality?, Ole Skovsmose. Ethnomathematics: A Response to the Changing Role of Mathematics in Society, Ubiratan D’Ambrosio. Mathematics Education Ideologies and Globalization, Paul Ernest. Scripting the World in Mathematics and Its Ethical Implications, Keiko Yasukawa, Ole Skovsmose and Ole Ravn. The Scope and Limits of Critical Mathematics Education, Paul Ernest. The Elephant in the Room: Equity, Social Class, and Mathematics, Robyn Jorgensen. Connecting the Notion of Foreground in Critical Mathematics Education With the Theory of Habitus, Tine Wedege. The Hegemony of English Mathematics, Brian Greer and Swapna Mukhopadhyay. School Curriculum and Different Mathematics Language Games: A Study at a Brazilian Agricultural‐Technical School, Ieda Maria Giongo and Gelsa Knijnik. Ethnomathematics as a Human Right, Karen Francois. Negotiating Critical Pedagogical Discourses Stories of Contexts, Mathematics and Agency, Annica Andersson and Paola Valero. Critical Mathematics Education in the Context of “Real‐Life Education”, Helle Alrø and Marit Johnsen‐Høines. The Role of Mathematics in Politics as an Issue for Mathematics Teaching, Mario Sánchez Aguilar and Morten Blomhøj. Investigating Critical Routes: The Politics of Mathematics Education and Citizenship in Capitalism, Maria Nikolakaki. Are There Viable Connections Between Mathematics, Mathematical Proof and Democracy? D. F. Almeida. A Historical Analysis of Democracy in Mathematics and Mathematics Education in European Culture, M. Sencer Corlu. Futures at Stake: Children’s Identity Work in the Force Field of Social Valorization of School Mathematics, Troels Lange. About the Authors.