Commentary on the Chapter by Paul Dowling and Jeremy Burke, “Shall We Do Politics or Learn Some Maths Today? Representing and Interrogating Social Inequality”
To start on a personal note, I consider the opportunity to respond to the chapter by Dowling and Burke to be an honour and privilege indeed. In the past I have always found Dowling and his colleagues’ writings to be a challenge to many of our widely accepted views and practices in mathematics education—even for those mathematics educators, may I add, writing from sociopolitical or sociocultural perspectives. Reading this chapter at this particular time was opportune for me. It spoke directly to findings of a recent research project I have participated in as well as some writing I am currently undertaking on the Australian national curriculum. Reading this chapter, I found myself agreeing with the majority of arguments developed, with the exception of one (minor?) point I will address in the last paragraph below. Here I will restrict my comments to two points that the chapter raised for me: the construction of the relationship between mathematics and the world (in particular the social world), and the corresponding tasks for mathematics education (in particular with respect to the agenda of social justice).
KeywordsSocial Justice Mathematics Education Mathematics Teacher Social World Everyday Language
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