Department of Mathematical Sciences

Technical report #22/2009

Politicizing Mathematics Education:

Has Politics gone too far? Or not far enough?

**Bharath Sriraman, Matt Roscoe**

The University of Montana

**Lyn English**

Queensland University of Technology, Australia

**Abstract**

In this chapter we tackle increasingly sensitive questions in mathematics and mathematics education, particularly those that have polarized the community into distinct schools of thought as well as impacted reform efforts. We attempt to address the following questions:

- What are the origins of politics in mathematics education, with the progressive educational movement of Dewey as a starting point?
- How can critical mathematics education improve the democratization of society?
- What role, if any, does politics play in mathematics education, in relation to assessment, research and curricular reform?
- How is the politicization of mathematics education linked to policy on equity, equal access and social justice?
- Is the politicization of research beneficial or damaging to the field?
- Does the philosophy of mathematics (education) influence the political orientation of policy makers, researchers, teachers and other stake holders?
- What role does technology play in pushing society into adopting particular views on teaching and learning and mathematics education in general?
- What does the future bear for mathematics as a field, when viewed through the lens of equity and culture?

**Keywords:** critical mathematics education; equity; sociopolitical theories; technology and mathematics; politics of mathematics education

**AMS Subject Classification:** 97