The disorder of mathematics education

A successful symposium at the European Conference of Educational Research in Porto last September brought together mathematics educators from several European universities, spanning Manchester Metropolitan University, Freie University, University of Cordoba, Potsdam University, University of Gothenburg and University of Lisbon. The symposium brought together a number of people interested in ways of combining contemporary political theory with mathematics education research. The success of that event resulted in the Freie University sponsoring a conference in Berlin, The disorder of mathematics education, held 15 – 18 January, 2015. Alexandre Pais and Tony Brown were invited, along with 25 other delegates from a number of other universities including Aalborg University, Malmo University, Kings’ College, UCL, New Brunswick University, Birzeit University, Palestine, University of Manchester, Durham University, Arcadia and Adelphi universities.

The conference comprised two days of intensive discussion on the social, political and economic relevance of mathematics education. Participants shared, discussed and contested contemporary approaches to mathematics education, by teasing out the disorder of the field instead of foreclosing it for the sake of a neat research. Readers can access participants‘ descriptions as well as the papers discussed in the conference by following this link.

These events will be followed by a number of delegates leading ESRI seminars over the coming months, with speakers including Paula Valero, Kenneth Mølbjeg Jørgensen and Sverker Lundin. Hauke Straehler-Pohl’s (co-organiser of the conference, and a lecturer in one of last year ESRI seminars) visited Manchester this week, and his visit will include an open discussion on teacher education in Germany.

Many of the delegates have indicated their intention to attend the third conference on Mathematics Education and Contemporary Theory that will take place in Manchester in July 2016.

Tony Brown and Alexandre Pais

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