Published in Acta Didactica Napocensia, volume 3 number 2, 1 June 2010


The importance of acknowledging the cultural dimension in mathematics teaching and learning research

Paul Andrews, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom


Abstract. In this paper, which is in four parts, I make a plea to those involved in research into mathematics teaching and learning of the need to acknowledge, however their work is framed, that it will be located in a culture, not always visible to a reader, that should be made explicit. In the first part I examine three key models of culture and their significance for education. In the second I further highlight the impact of culture on what children are expected by critiquing various models of curriculum. The third part examines how culture informs the particularities of four European mathematics curricula, while the fourth part explores culturally located differences in mathematics teaching. In so doing a plea to researchers is framed: Culture permeates all aspects of educational endeavour and should be acknowledged more explicitly than it is.

Keywords: Comparative education research, comparative curriculum analysis, comparative mathematics teaching, culture, mathematics education research.



Pages 3-16.         Download PDF


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