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 PRINTED FROM the OXFORD RESEARCH ENCYCLOPEDIA, EDUCATION (oxfordre.com/education). (c) Oxford University Press USA, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Personal use only; commercial use is strictly prohibited (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 16 December 2018

Summary and Keywords

How mathematics and science curricula connect to democracy and justice is understood through the examination of different perspectives of mathematics and science education as political. Although frequently conceived of as neutral, these school subjects have been central in recent modern education for governing the making of rational, science-minded citizens who are necessary for social, political, and economic progress. Three main perspectives are identified in the existing research literature. A perspective of empowerment highlights the power that people can acquire by learning and using mathematics and science. A perspective of disadvantage focuses on how the pedagogies of mathematics and science intersect with categories such as ability, gender, class, ethnicity, and race to generate and reproduce marginalization. A perspective of subjectivation examines the effects of mathematics and science curricula within the context of historical and cultural processes for the making of desired modern, rational, and techno-scientific types of citizens, thus creating categories of inclusion and exclusion. All together, these perspectives point to the ways in which mathematics and science, as privileged forms of knowing in contemporary school curricula, simultaneously operate to include or exclude different types of students.

Keywords: mathematics, subjectivation, empowerment, disadvantage, cultural politics, globalization, glocality, geopolitics, poststructuralism

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