Towards Equity in Mathematics Education pp 87-103 | Cite as

# Shall We Do Politics or Learn Some Maths Today? Representing and Interrogating Social Inequality

## Abstract

In this chapter we shall first introduce a schema that describes strategies of representation in terms of whether representation is explicit or tacit and whether it is oriented in consonance or dissonance with dominant or expected patterns, in this case of social inequality. We shall then use this schema to describe the construction of gender and social class in school textbooks, giving some attention to the contexts of their use. We shall argue that addressing social inequalities demands explicit, dissonant strategies, referred to here as interrogation. However, by reflecting on a particular critical mathematics lesson apparently interrogating racial inequality, we conclude that interrogation itself is likely to lead to misrepresentation where the mathematical activity is foregrounded and mathematics is likely to lose out where it is not. Ultimately, we may be left with the choice of whether to do politics or to teach mathematics.

## Keywords

Social Class Social Inequality Mathematics Lesson Mathematical Discourse Mathematics Textbook## References

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