Mathematics education

May 19th, 2015
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Introduction: formatting mathematics.For many years, sociologists of mathematics education, a minority of scholars in this field, have argued that mathematics acts as a gatekeeper. The oft quoted Volmink (1994), for example, explains that mathematics ‘more than any other subject, has been cast in the role as an “objective” judge, in order to decide who in society “can” and who “cannot”.

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MATHEMATICS COUNTS FOR WHAT?RETHINKING THE MATHEMATICS CURRICULUM IN ENGLANDAndrew NoyesUniversity of Nottingham, UKAbstractThis paper draws on European and US critical (mathematics) education traditions to argue that the mathematics curriculum in England is in urgent need of reconceptualisation if a more engaging and socially just mathematics education is to be offered to young people in the future. Throughout the history of state schooling in England there have been competing agendas for school mathematics and its sacred position as the gatekeeper to many education, employment and life opportunities is now firmly established. A brief history and critique of the curriculum leads to consideration of the current and alternative curriculum drivers. I argue that more radical traditions including criticalmathematical literacy, mathematics for social justice, general (citizenship) education or allgemeinbildung should be central to a thorough rethink of the mathematics curriculum in England.Introduction: formatting mathematicsFor many years, sociologists of mathematics education, a minority of scholars in this field, have argued that mathematics acts as a gatekeeper. The oft quoted Volmink (1994), for example, explains that mathematics more than any other subject, has been cast in the role as an objective judge, in order to decide who in society can and who cannot. It therefore serves as the gatekeeper

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