Sociocultural Research on Mathematics Education: An International Perspective

Sociocultural Research on Mathematics Education: An International Perspective

Sociocultural Research on Mathematics Education: An International Perspective

Sociocultural Research on Mathematics Education: An International Perspective

Synopsis

This volume--the first to bring together research on sociocultural aspects of mathematics education--presents contemporary and international perspectives on social justice and equity issues that impact mathematics education. In particular, it highlights the importance of three interacting and powerful factors--gender, social, and cultural dimensions. Sociocultural Research on Mathematics Education: An International Perspective is distinguished in several ways: * It is research based. Chapters report on significant research projects; present a comprehensive and critical summary of the research findings; and offer a critical discussion of research methods and theoretical perspectives undertaken in the area. * It is future oriented, presenting recommendations for practice and policy and identifying areas for further research. * It deals with all aspects of formal and informal mathematics education and applications and all levels of formal schooling. As the context of mathematics education rapidly changes-- with an increased demand for mathematically literate citizenship; an increased awareness of issues of equity, inclusivity, and accountability; and increased efforts for globalization of curriculum development and research-- questions are being raised more than ever before about the problems of teaching and learning mathematics from a non-cognitive science perspective. This book contributes significantly to addressing such issues and answering such questions. It is especially relevant for researchers, graduate students, and policymakers in the field of mathematics education.

Excerpt

It is widely accepted today that as general research in mathematics education evolved during the 1960s and 1970s, psychological paradigms, methodologies, and research questions dominated the field. A few researchers then began to investigate factors related to the performance of under-represented and underachieving segments of the school population. These research foci opened the gate for the consideration of social factors as critical in understanding how they affected the outcomes of mathematics teaching. Arguably, the majority of these early studies that were undertaken from a social perspective used mainly quantitative research methodologies that were prevalent at the time. In the 1980s and 1990s, mathematics education research witnessed a diversification of research thrusts and theoretical models coming from sociology, anthropology, and linguistics. Perhaps less so in Anglo-Saxon countries than in others, qualitative researchers working from sociocultural perspectives had few battles to fight for acceptance and respectability within the general educational research community.

A special day on Mathematics Education and Society at the Sixth International Congress in Mathematical Education [ICME] 6 in Budapest in 1988 resulted in a set of conference proceedings, edited by Keitel, Damerow, and Bishop (1989) and published by UNESCO, constituting the first such international collection of research into the social factors in mathematics education. The contributions of 90 presenters from 40 countries on that day alerted the editors of that collection to the “increasing awareness” of sociocultural aspects of mathematics education. Some of the themes addressed in this book overlap with the themes discussed in 1989. The authors of at least six chapters in this book were among the authors contributing to the proceedings of that day at ICME 6. Many of the other authors writing in this collection have joined ix . . .

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