Mathematical Literacy and Globalisation
- Ole Skovsmose
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If mathematics and power are interrelated in a globalised world, what does that mean for a mathematical literacy to be either functional or critical? The discussion of this question is organised in three steps:
First, different processes of globalisation are outlined. The thesis of indifference – that mathematics is a pure science without any socio-political or technological significance – is contrasted with the thesis of significance – that mathematics in action can operate in powerful ways, and power can be exercised though mathematics in action
Second, the processes of constructing, operating, consuming and marginalising are analysed. Here mathematics is operating, and mathematical literacy might be either functional or critical: (1) Processes of construction include advanced systems of knowledge and techniques, by means of which technology, in the broadest interpretation of the term, is maintained and further developed. (2) Processes of operation refer to work practices and job functions where mathematics may operate, although without surfacing in the situation. (3) Processes of consuming refer to situations in which one is addressed as a receiver of goods, information, services, obligations, etc. (4) Processes of marginalising turn out to be an aspect of globalisation, governed by a neo-liberal economy, which is far from being inclusive
Third, as conclusion, I get to the aporia, which questions the very distinction: functional-critical. On the one hand, I find this distinction important with respect to mathematical literacy. On the other hand, the distinction is vague, maybe illusive. Being both important and vague-illusive indicates the aporia we have to deal with, with respect to any critical mathematics education
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- Mathematical Literacy and Globalisation
- Book Title
- Internationalisation and Globalisation in Mathematics and Science Education
- Book Part
- Section 1
- pp 3-18
- Print ISBN
- Online ISBN
- Springer Netherlands
- Copyright Holder
- Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
- Additional Links
- Mathematical literacy
- eBook Packages
- Editor Affiliations
- 1. Curtin University of Technology
- 2. Columbia University
- 3. State University of São Paulo
- 4. La Trobe University
- 5. Freie University Berlin
- 6. Ateneo de Manila University
- 7. University of KwaZulu-Natal
- Ole Skovsmose (8)
- Author Affiliations
- 8. Department of Education, Learning and Philosophy, Aalborg University, Fiberstraede 10, DK-9220 Aalborg East, Denmark
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