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Symbolising the real of mathematics education

Pais, Alexandre (2015) Symbolising the real of mathematics education. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 89 (3). pp. 375-391. ISSN 0013-1954


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This text, occasioned by a critical reading of Tony Brown’s new book Mathematics Education and Subjectivity, aims at contributing to the building of a sociopolitical approach to mathematics education based on Lacanian psychoanalysis and Slavoj Žižek’s philosophy. Brown has been bringing into the field of mathematics education the work of these two scholars, and his work has been important in understanding the cultural dynamics of school mathematics. This article highlights the limitations of Brown’s use of Lacanian theory and outlines a framework to understand students’ learning not in terms of the inherent properties of mathematics but in terms of the role this school subject plays within political economy.

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