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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

On this week's podcast I speak to Professor Paola Valero from Stockholm University about the political aspects of teaching in general and of teaching mathematics in particular. Professor Valero was in Ireland as a keynote speaker at the 2019 Mathematics Education in Ireland conference, which was held in Dublin City University in October.

This podcast will be of interest to anyone who likes to stand back from their teaching and think about the why, what and how of their work. Among the topics we discuss in the podcast are:

  • The difference between teacher knowledge and researcher knowledge and why both need to work together
  • Responsibilities of researchers (in education)
  • Relevance of her work on the politics of mathematics education for teachers
  • Why teachers’ work is inevitably political, whether or not that is acknowledged
  • How can teachers become more aware of their political stance (from 12’06”)
  • What it means to be a teacher-intellectual
  • What is political specifically in mathematics education
    • Working with powerful and empowering knowledge
    • It is a desired area of competence/it is highly valued
    • Mathematics is widely assessed
  • A brief history of how the status of mathematics in schools evolved
  • How less was expected of girls in mathematics education
  • The experience of learning mathematics for immigrants and people with disabilities
  • How teachers can respond to the political nature of mathematics

She recommended the work of Ole Skovsmose and in particular the chapter he co-wrote with Lene Nielsen, Critical Mathematics Education.

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