Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Department of Education in Science and Technology, Israel
In attempt to bridge Mathematics WITH and WITHOUT distinction, I present position built upon the following premise. There is overwhelming evidence that all students benefit from studying mathematics through challenging problem-solving tasks, but there are some students within every age cohort who require more mathematically advanced tasks than others in order to be adequately challenged. This premise enables us to reconceptualise the gap between mathematics with and without distinction and focus on the following question: How can the right of all students, including the most able ones, to be engaged in challenging mathematical activities be realized within a particular educational system? This question leads to the following one: Is it possible, and if yes how, to challenge the most mathematically able students of a particular group by tasks that would also be challenging and feasible for the rest? The main part of my talk is devoted to addressing the latter question by introducing examples of classroom and out-of-classroom activities constructed within the paradigm of choice-based pedagogy. I argue that the slogan “challenging mathematics for all” is feasible when the students are empowered to make informed choices of: a task to be solved, a way of approaching the task, an extent of collaboration, a mode of interaction, and an agent to learn from. The examples are drawn from two on-going studies conducted in the Technion mathematics education research group. Implications for creativity development in all students are drawn.
Aalborg University, Department of Learning and Philosophy, Denmark
It is a self evident truth nowadays to say that mathematics education is a pillar for citizenship. It is also a very evident true that mathematics education should be for all. But it is also a truth that mathematics education is certainly not for all. The positioning of school mathematics as a privileged area of the school curriculum is important to understand how, in contemporary societies, the practices of mathematics education are inevitable mechanisms of both inclusion and exclusion. But… inclusion and exclusion of whom? in/from what? My intention in this plenary talk is to delineate an emergent trend in researching the politics of mathematics education as historical and cultural practices within schooling, drawing on the work of Michel Foucault. The shift from a focus on a cultural understanding of mathematical thinking, towards the understanding of school mathematics as an area of the curriculum in modern schooling in the 20th century allows tracing the constitution of the systems of reason that govern educational practices in mathematics. Such tracing brings different perspectives for the understanding of the predicaments of failure and success in school mathematics. I will bring material from my current research to illustrate how such types of analysis unfolds the conditions on which mathematics education operates in(ex)clusion.
Educational Technology Lab School of Philosophy, University of Athens and Computer Technology Institute Athens Greece