Truth, Power and Capitalist Accumulation in Mathematics Education

  • Alexandre Pais
Part of the ICME-13 Monographs book series (ICME13Mo)


In this chapter I raise a set of questions intended to make us reflect on our work as researchers, namely in the way we propagate and naturalise common assumptions or truths about mathematics education, as well as the mechanisms of power that makes it difficult for us to see beyond these well-accepted truths. I suggest that some of the forces that impact upon and restrict socially just outcomes for mathematics education are not just “external”, that is, originated outside the mathematics education community, but also, and perhaps more importantly for us, from the way research itself addresses the teaching and learning of mathematics in schools. Instead of positing ourselves as the beautiful souls of mathematics education, my invitation is for us to posit ourselves as part of the problem, and be willing to address some of our ideological assumptions before relegating to the social and political world the causes of our discontentment. For this purpose, I will rely on Foucault’s and Lacan’s works on the notion of truth, as a way to explore the role that contemporary mathematics education plays within capitalism.


Truth Power Capitalist accumulation Foucault Lacan 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Manchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterUK

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