Mathematical Literacy and Globalisation
 Ole Skovsmose
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Abstract
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 sociopolitical 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 neoliberal economy, which is far from being inclusive
Third, as conclusion, I get to the aporia, which questions the very distinction: functionalcritical. 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 vagueillusive indicates the aporia we have to deal with, with respect to any critical mathematics education
 Title
 Mathematical Literacy and Globalisation
 Book Title
 Internationalisation and Globalisation in Mathematics and Science Education
 Book Part
 Section 1
 Pages
 pp 318
 Copyright
 2007
 DOI
 10.1007/9781402059087_1
 Print ISBN
 9781402087905
 Online ISBN
 9781402059087
 Publisher
 Springer Netherlands
 Copyright Holder
 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
 Additional Links
 Topics
 Keywords

 Mathematical literacy
 globalisation
 ghettoising
 uncertainity
 eBook Packages
 Editors

 Bill Atweh ^{(1)}
 Angela Calabrese Barton ^{(2)}
 Marcelo C. Borba ^{(3)}
 Noel Gough ^{(4)}
 Christine Keitel ^{(5)}
 Catherine VistroYu ^{(6)}
 Renuka Vithal ^{(7)}
 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 KwaZuluNatal
 Authors

 Ole Skovsmose ^{(8)}
 Author Affiliations

 8. Department of Education, Learning and Philosophy, Aalborg University, Fiberstraede 10, DK9220 Aalborg East, Denmark
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