Revisiting mathematics for all: a commentary to Pais’s critique. (English)

Straehler-Pohl, Hauke (ed.) et al., The disorder of mathematics education. Challenging the socio-political dimensions of research. Cham: Springer (ISBN 978-3-319-34005-0/hbk; 978-3-319-34006-7/ebook). 67-87 (2017).

Summary: Doubts have been expressed whether research and development in mathematics education really support improvement of the processes of teaching and learning mathematics at school. The critique says that programmatic endeavours, such as “mathematics for all”, tend to end up in rhetorical claims that conceal the structural conditions of inequity of institutionalised instruction. In this chapter, which is inspired by several publications of Alexandre Pais, I argue for further reflections on the demands of mathematical knowledge in contemporary society. The topic of universality of mathematical education is the pivot around which historical, functional, emancipatory and political issues unfold.