Mathematics Curricula: Issues of Access and Quality
In the last forty years, it seems that discussions about inequality, power, access and identity have simultaneously become more prominent in mathematics education curricula, whilst also being subordinated to wider neo-liberal discourses of competition and accountability. In this paper, issues to do with access and quality are linked to the mechanism that determines what constitutes mathematics education for specific groups of children. Using Bernstein’s pedagogical device, it is possible to see how the control of official knowledge affects who has access to what kind of mathematics learning opportunities. At the same time, contestation about what should be official knowledge also allows alternative possibilities to be raised. The challenge for those interested in providing higher quality mathematics education to all groups of students is how to make use of the possibility for “unthinkable” knowledge.
KeywordsCurriculum Equity Neo-liberalism Bernstein Pedagogic device
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