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Researching research: mathematics education in the political

Pais, Alexandre and Valero, Paola (2012) Researching research: mathematics education in the political. ISSN 0013-1954

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Abstract

We discuss contemporary theories in mathematics education in order to do research on research. Our strategy consists of analysing discursively and ideologically recent key publications addressing the role of theory in mathematics education research. We examine how the field fabricates its object of research by deploying Foucault’s notion of bio-politics—mainly to address the object “learning”—and Žižek’s ideology critique—to address the object “mathematics”. These theories, which have already been used in the field to research teaching and learning, have a great potential to contribute to a reflexivity of research on its discourses and effects. Furthermore, they enable us to present a clear distinction between what has been called the sociopolitical turn in mathematics education research and what we call a positioning of mathematics education (research) practices in the Political.

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