Whose Culture Includes Mathematics?

Part of the Mathematics Education Library book series (MELI, volume 14)


In this chapter I argue that the ample evidence that mathematics is a discipline predominantly attractive to white, male, middle class students can, in part, be explained by the siting, in a socio-cultural context, of its content and the most commonly experienced teaching style. I identify the mathematics encountered through formal education as resonant of a powerful male, eurocentric culture which reifies its own perception of objectivity and reason, in an atmosphere promoting individualism and competition. To address participation rates in mathematics, I claim that we can no longer shelter behind a pretence that the subject is universal, objective and unrelated to the social conditions within which it is developed and practised. Furthermore, the images of the subject itself cannot be separated from the pedagogic style through which it is learnt.


Mathematical Knowledge School Mathematics Pedagogic Style Asian American Student Eternal Truth 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of BirminghamEdgbaston, BirminghamUK

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