Educational Studies in Mathematics

, Volume 80, Issue 1, pp 9–24

Researching research: mathematics education in the Political


DOI: 10.1007/s10649-012-9399-5

Cite this article as:
Pais, A. & Valero, P. Educ Stud Math (2012) 80: 9. doi:10.1007/s10649-012-9399-5


We discuss contemporary theories in mathematics education in order to do research on research. Our strategy consists of analysing discursively and ideologically recent key publications addressing the role of theory in mathematics education research. We examine how the field fabricates its object of research by deploying Foucault’s notion of bio-politics—mainly to address the object “learning”—and Žižek’s ideology critique—to address the object “mathematics”. These theories, which have already been used in the field to research teaching and learning, have a great potential to contribute to a reflexivity of research on its discourses and effects. Furthermore, they enable us to present a clear distinction between what has been called the sociopolitical turn in mathematics education research and what we call a positioning of mathematics education (research) practices in the Political.


Theory Research on research Learnification Mathematical specificity Discourse Ideology critique Bio-politics 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Learning and PhilosophyAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark

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