Positioning mathematics education researchers to influence storylines

Filling the pail

I’ve been reading a fascinating paper by a group of maths education researchers with the title, “Positioning Mathematics Education Researchers to Influence Storylines.” It is interesting for what the researchers do and don’t say. It was published in March in the house journal of the U.S. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and represents the work of the NCTM’s research committee.

The committee seem to be concerned that a group of Canadian parents and mathematics professors have influenced the debate in the Canadian media about maths teaching methods and they propose the use of ‘positioning theory’ by maths education researchers as a way to fight back and avoid this situation arising in the U.S. This involves infiltrating bodies that make decisions on maths education and manipulating ‘storylines’ about maths in the media.

They identify three storylines that they disapprove of. They are:

1. There Are Two Dichotomous Ways…

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