Interrupting passivity: attempts to interrogate political agency in Palestinian school mathematics. (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). 191-208 (2017).

Summary: This chapter attempts to question the sociopolitical structure and conditions that Palestinian students live in and under which they are expected to learn mathematics and other subjects in schools. We describe these sociopolitical conditions and then focus on education and mathematics education in an attempt to illuminate the relationship between learning mathematics and the sociopolitical context that it “lives” in. This is achieved by using textbooks as an example of how ideology shapes education in Palestine generally, and mathematics education particularly. The analysis illustrates how learners of mathematics are constructed as passive subjects, separated from the sociopolitical conditions they live in. Based on this analysis, the chapter provides drafts for two hypothetical classroom activities that are designed as provocations for teacher education and seek to tease out the potentials for interrupting this passivity.