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Chapter 1 Applying Critical Mathematics Education

Abstract

In this introductory chapter, we first set out our broad characterisation of critical mathematics education, drawing on contemporary issues including, for example, global climate change and rapid societal challenges. Critical mathematics education is driven by urgent, complex questions; is interdisciplinary; is politically active and engaged; is democratic; involves critique; and is reflexive and self-aware. This perspective leads us to argue for the necessity of critical mathematics education, for which we summarise three significant traditions derived from Freire, Foucault, and the Nordic School. Finally, we provide an overview and discussion of the contributions to this volume, and show how they apply critical mathematics education in unique ways that relate to the six previously described features of this approach. We conclude by reiterating the urgent necessity of applying critical mathematics education.

Open Access
In: Applying Critical Mathematics Education
Chapter 8 A Critical Mathematics Education for Climate Change

Abstract

Climate change is an urgent global challenge. Responding to climate change requires significant critical mathematical understanding on the part of all citizens. In this chapter, we consider what a critical mathematics education for climate change might look like. We draw on ideas from Skovsmose’s work, including the notion of formatting, as well as the body of work known as post-normal science. As a starting point for pedagogical reflection, we propose twelve principles, operating within landscapes of investigation, and organised into three groups relating to: forms of authenticity; forms of participation; and reflection on and with mathematics. We illustrate these ideas with an example of a possible landscape of investigation relating to historical temperature change.

Open Access
In: Applying Critical Mathematics Education
Chapter 2 Culturally Situated Critical Mathematics Education

Abstract

Based on a synthesis of connections between ethnomathematics and critical mathematics education, we present a set of four “concerns,” framing what we call culturally situated critical mathematics education. We see any ethnomathematics or critical mathematics education work as fitting within this framing. We illustrate the framework with an analysis of two empirical articles, one reporting an ethnomathematical teaching and research project in a Sámi context, and one reporting on a critical mathematics education teaching and research project in an underprivileged context in the USA. Our analysis shows how the concerns bring the strengths of ethnomathematics to critical mathematics education and vice versa.

Open Access
In: Applying Critical Mathematics Education
Chapter 11 From the Present Towards Hope for the Future

Abstract

In this epilogue we elaborate on and synthesise what we have learnt from reading this book. We start by considering what the word “apply” in Applying Critical Mathematics Education might mean. Apply connotes to put into action, but it is also related to the following ideas: to work hard at, to pay close attention to, to have relevance for and to request something. In the context of our readings we think of being relational and dedicated as a matter of enhancing situated critical awareness, addressing relevant issues as a matter of highlighting complex global and local challenges and making demands as a matter of agency and power. To us, these themes together synthesise the insights on critical mathematics education in action that the authors of this book offer; namely, propositions on how to illuminate and execute social justice and heterogenous subjectification by critically entangling local and global knowledges in contextually situated educational enactments that hold the potential to address complex challenges. We close by sharing our ideas on how the contribution of this book gives us hope for the future in these times of crises and complex challenges.

Open Access
In: Applying Critical Mathematics Education
Chapter 9 The Mathematical Formatting of How Climate Change Is Perceived

Abstract

This chapter concerns how three teachers in lower secondary school include climate change in school mathematics. Data was collected over a oneyear period, where the teachers organised several teaching activities such as fieldwork, posters, contribution to an exhibition, and dialogue and debates, to facilitate students’ critical mathematics competences through working with climate change. We apply a teacher perspective and focus on the role mathematics can play in formatting the understanding of climate change. A formatting power of mathematics is identified at three levels: (1) in teachers’ metareflections, (2) when the teachers use mathematics to format students’ understanding, and (3) when teachers facilitate students’ awareness of the formatting power of mathematics. The findings suggest that a complex issue like climate change brings forth an awareness of the formatting powers of mathematics.

Open Access
In: Applying Critical Mathematics Education
Chapter 7 “Mathematics Is Bad for Society”

Abstract

In this chapter, we report on a small-scale critical mathematics education project in a Swedish classroom with students of varied language backgrounds. The project departed from the student Arvid’s statement “Mathematics is bad for society.” Our research interest was twofold. On the one hand, we wanted to explore what knowledge is being (re)produced by students as they try to connect and reason with a statement like “Mathematics is bad for society.” And on the other hand, we were also interested in how the students in this classroom, in which they do not have shared mother tongues, can express and (dis)acknowledge knowledge when reasoning about mathematics in society. We found that when the students (and their teacher) grappled with unpacking critical aspects such as “mathematics in society,” their reciprocal assessment of claims was based on their individual ways of knowing and talking, and tended to shape both their actions and the outcome of their efforts. We show that the discussion around critical aspects of mathematics in society that came to the fore was intertwined with both students’ and the teacher’s (lack of) meta-understanding of language diversity.

Open Access
In: Applying Critical Mathematics Education
A Critical Review for Educators, Librarians, Families, Researchers & Writers
This enriched reference guide offers a unique overview of more than 200 picture books published by Canadian publishing houses between 2017–2019. The authors cover key themes in contemporary Canadian titles that match broad curriculum trends in education. Response activities are included in the text, for example frameworks for critical literacy discussions, along with annotated bibliographies that specifically recognize titles by Indigenous authors and illustrators. The book also contains original interviews with a dozen rising stars in Canadian writing and book illustration. While the book is specifically geared for educators, it also supports public libraries, Education researchers, and future picture book creators, as well as families who are interested in learning more about reading development and related literacy activities for the home setting.
Chapter 13 Author and Illustrator Spotlight

Abstract

Twelve new and exemplary Canadian picture book writers and illustrators are in-terviewed here, illuminating their work on our current landscape of picture books in Canada.

Open Access
In: Contemporary Canadian Picture Books
Chapter 12 Canadian Classics New and Old

Abstract

This chapter references some particularly exemplary titles that have either re-mained highly relevant, or else have qualities we predict will render them timeless. The books are summarized in three sections, depending on key aspects of their content: new forms and formats; changing perspectives; and changing boundaries. All three categories are representative of Eliza Dresang’s notion of Radical Change: how children’s literature is evolving in our digital world. Thirty-eight titles are separated into annotated bibliographies in each of these three sections.

Open Access
In: Contemporary Canadian Picture Books
Chapter 5 Dual Language Books

Abstract

Including additional languages alongside English in picture book format is a spec-tacular way to advance multilingual goals. Many titles here focus on Canadian In-digenous languages while others explore languages with origins around the world. Non-English words range from a carefully selected few to complete translations. Fourteen titles are included in the annotated bibliography.

Open Access
In: Contemporary Canadian Picture Books