24 SES 07, The Political Life of Content Knowledge: The Case of School Mathematics
This symposium brings together five international scholars from Germany, Spain, Sweden, the U.K., and the U.S.A. to discuss how broad socio-political structural arrangements influence the teaching and learning of mathematics in schools. The importance placed on mathematics in the last three decades is a clear sign of the pivotal political and economic role it plays today. Performance in school mathematics has become a key instrument of accountability for national governments and international organizations to compare people and countries, as well as to delineate political strategies. The political or symbolic status of the subject within the project of modernity transcends its mundane existence as experienced by children in the classroom. Yet, despite awareness of these wider trends, very seldom do researchers investigate the contours of such influence. The field has been historically centred on either procedural facility with mathematics or the psychology of the child. Neither of these perspectives is equipped to address the wider context of school mathematics.
The contributions gathered in this symposium draw on contemporary theory in the fields of sociology, philosophy, anthropology, psychoanalysis, history, and discourse analysis, to render problematic some of the common shared assumptions concerning what it means to learn mathematics. Although the individual papers will follow different paths in investigating the interplay between macro structures and classroom discourses and practices, they each investigate the ideological effects produced by research itself. The papers show how research is not an innocent activity producing a diagnosis of a situation and suggesting strategies for improvement. Rather, it is an active participant in shaping what we see and say about the very same world of mathematics education. The critical analyses of research practices that are offered point not only to the limitations of research but also, and more importantly, to its complicity with modern political systems of exploitation and inequality. The papers each analyse modern mathematics and its role as an instrument of power. Specifically, the papers show how specific pedagogical fabrications of the subject can support oppressive modes of administration and governance. Taken together, the papers provide a political mapping that situates the field of mathematics education in a broader arena and moves us on from the didactical research that has dominated analyses until now.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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