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Technologies of (re)production in mathematics education research: performances of progress. (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). 153-169 (2017).
Summary: In this chapter, I use Foucauldian theory to consider and critique the role of technologies of power, surveillance and governmentality within mathematics education research. I argue this deconstruction is pertinent within our current neoliberal, market-driven education system, as both schools and universities are involved in overt and covert methods of governing. Moreover, this era is predicated on the fiction of the free, autonomous self, and discourses of “becoming”. I examine this argument through the deconstruction of a key taken-for-granted truth of mathematics education research within the UK and other Western contexts, such as the USA and Australia ‒ that it is heavily and uncritically invested in progress, progressive pedagogies and the “free” autonomous subject. I argue that this position relies on a “natural” mathematical child, who is posited as asocial, acultural and apolitical, where the focus is on what is to come, not what is already. Instead I suggest that mathematics education, and the mathematical child, are not natural but instead are social, cultural and political products. The natural, developmental, “free”, child is (re)produced through both overt and covert surveillance, and monitoring from both schools and universities.
Classification: D20 A40 B10
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