Social Epistemology 14 (1):55 – 68 (2000)
|Abstract||This paper argues that mathematics education curricular policy has slowly effected a reversal in the relationship between mathematics and its publics: from mathematics assuming its users to mathematics defined by its (supposed) users. Mathematics education research itself, its contribution to challenging the former notwithstanding, has often unwittingly supported this shift. While in the mid 1980s the mathematics educators propagating the teaching of mathematics by applications represented a small and unique group, by the mid 1990s those advocating teaching mathematics this way had grown appreciably. A characteristic of this change in conviction is the emphasis on the importance of the context of mathematical thinking and problem-solving. Paradoxically, the consequences of the coupling of mathematics, both with utilitarianism,as other have argued, and with essentialism,as we argue in this paper, have been to narrow its scope (e.g. to a narrow version of 'numeracy') and to distance mathematics from its publics. In the paper we argue that action is needed to counter these trends, and to develop the area of the public understanding of mathematics. Otherwise policies aiming simply to 'popularize' mathematics might exacerbate these consequences. In particular, research is necessary along the lines followed by the social studies of science. For such research-by posing as pertinent the question of describing and accounting for differences between practices of knowledge production, dissemination and use-can help to avoid the assumption of a unique essence of some unitary culture called 'mathematics' and therefore a public (or publics) separated from it.|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Michael Heller (1997). Essential Tension: Mathematics - Physics - Philosophy. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 2 (1):39-52.
Penelope J. Maddy (2001). Some Naturalistic Reflections on Set Theoretic Method. Topoi 20 (1):17-27.
Corfield David (1998). Beyond the Methodology of Mathematics Research Programmes. Philosophia Mathematica 6 (3):272-301.
Charalampos Toumasis (1997). The NCTM Standards and the Philosophy of Mathematics. Studies in Philosophy and Education 16 (3):317-330.
Alan Baker (2003). The Indispensability Argument and Multiple Foundations for Mathematics. Philosophical Quarterly 53 (210):49–67.
Sal Restivo & Wenda K. Bauchspies (2006). The Will to Mathematics: Minds, Morals, and Numbers. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 11 (1-2):197-215.
Edward N. Zalta (2007). Reflections on Mathematics. In V. F. Hendricks & Hannes Leitgeb (eds.), Philosophy of Mathematics: Five Questions. Automatic Press/VIP.
Christopher Pincock (2009). Towards a Philosophy of Applied Mathematics. In Otávio Bueno & Øystein Linnebo (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Mathematics. Palgrave Macmillan.
Jeff Evans & Anna Tsatsaroni (2000). Mathematics and its Publics: Texts, Contexts and Users. Social Epistemology 14 (1):55-68.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads7 ( #142,326 of 722,876 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #60,917 of 722,876 )
How can I increase my downloads?