24 SES 07, The Political Life of Content Knowledge: The Case of School Mathematics
The purpose of this contribution is to add the anthropology of Roy Rappaport to the theoretical mix of mathematics education research (MER). I will show that mathematics education (ME) and MER can be seen as parts of an overarching ritual, each in its particular way fitting Rappaport’s definition of the ritual form. The seemingly objective properties of mathematics, of mathematical knowledge and of mathematical learning can thence be interpreted as what Rappaport calls a canonical message, transmitted, by the enactment of this ritual. While the very possibility of producing, having or using mathematical knowledge belongs to this canonical message, the term self-referential message is used to refer to the distribution over individuals of realizations of these possibilities. To exemplify the usefulness of Rappaport’s terminology, I will show how ME in conjunction with MER establishes mathematics as a holy presence in the world, how it makes mathematical knowledge into an occult power, and how it thus contributes to the constitution of a modern cosmos. I conclude by indicating how the concepts employed here can be fruitfully combined with some of the many interesting lines of thought presently explored within MER.
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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