Mainstreaming of the Sociopolitical in Mathematics Education

  • Renuka Vithal
  • Murad Jurdak
Part of the ICME-13 Monographs book series (ICME13Mo)


This introductory chapter explores the phenomenon of mainstreaming of the sociopolitical in mathematics education. The shift of the diverse sociopolitical dimensions from the margins to the mainstream of mathematics education has been taking place over the last four decades. The chapter examines this shift by reviewing the scientific activities of the International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICMEs), conducted under the auspices of the International Commission for Mathematical Instruction (ICMI), and through the literature as it has come to express itself in this volume in comparison to the recent beginnings of the sociopolitical in mathematics education.


Mainstreaming Social and political dimensions Margin Mathematics education Rise of the sociopolitical ICMEs 


  1. Greer, B., & Skovsmose, O. (2012). Introduction: Seeing the cage? The emergence of critical mathematics education. In O. Skovsmose & B. Greer (Eds.), Opening the cage: Critique and politics of mathematics education (pp. 1–20). Netherlands: Sense Publishers.Google Scholar
  2. Gutiérrez, R. (2013). The sociopolitical turn in mathematics education. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 44(1), 37–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Gutstein, E. (2006). Reading and writing the world with mathematics: Toward pedagogy for social justice. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Jurdak, M. (2014). Socio-economic and cultural mediators of mathematics achievement and between school equity in mathematics education at the global level. ZDM—The International Journal on Mathematics Education, 46, 1025–1037.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Jurdak, M., Vithal, R., de Freitas, E., Gates, P., & Kollosche, D. (2016). Social and political dimensions of mathematics education: Current thinking. Switzerland: Springer Open.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Keitel, C. (Ed.). (1989). Mathematics, education and society. Science and Technology education. Document Series No. 35, Division of Science Technical and Environmental Education. Paris: UNESCO.Google Scholar
  7. Keitel, C. (2003). Section 1: Policy dimensions of mathematics education research and practice introduction. In A. J. Bishop, M. A. Clements, C. Keitel, J. Kilpatrick, & F. K. S. Leung, (Eds.), Second international handbook of mathematics education (pp. 1–7). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  8. Lerman, S. (2000). The social turn in mathematics education research. In J. Boaler (Ed.), Multiple perspectives on mathematics teaching and learning (pp. 19–44). Westport, CT: Ablex.Google Scholar
  9. Lerman, S., Xu, G., & Tsatsaroni, A. (2002). Developing theories of mathematics education research: The ESM story. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 51(1–2), 23–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Mellin-Olsen, S. (2002). The politics of mathematics education. Dordrecht: D Reidel Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  11. Skovsmose, O. (1994). Toward a critical philosophy of mathematics education. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Straehler-Pohl, H., Bohlmann, N., & Pais, A. (Eds.). (2017). The disorder of mathematics education: Challenging the sociopolitical dimensions of research. Switzerland: Springer.Google Scholar
  13. Valero, P., & Zevenbergen, R. (Eds.). (2004). Researching the sociopolitical dimensions of mathematics education: Issues of power in theory and methodology. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  14. Vithal, R. (2003). In search of a pedagogy of conflict and dialogue for mathematics education. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Vithal, R., & Volmink, J. (2005). Mathematics curriculum roots, reforms, reconciliation and relevance. In R. Vithal, J. Adler, & C. Keitel (Eds.), Researching mathematics education in South Africa: Challenges and possibilities (pp. 3–27). Pretoria: Human Sciences Research Council.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalDurbanSouth Africa
  2. 2.American University of BeirutBeirutLebanon

Personalised recommendations