Marginalising practices of mathematics: why young people opt out of school mathematics

McMahon, Bronwyn F. (2001) Marginalising practices of mathematics: why young people opt out of school mathematics. In Mathematics in Society, Copenhagen, Denmark.

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In developing an understanding of the potential of school mathematics as a marginalising practice, this paper draws on several issues which would seem to be important when considering why young people are opting out of school mathematics and ultimately school. Drawing on Australian and international literature this paper proposes that issues of pacing, the speed of content delivery and the linear discipline of mathematics have potential to marginalise young people. These issues coupled with classroom ethos give further weight to the contention of this paper that school mathematics acts as a social filter thereby reproducing (in most cases) the status quo. Classroom ethos has considerable potential for supporting or denying students access to learning. This is further evident in the assessment practices of school mathematics which verify notions of ability so that young people come to believe that they can or can not do mathematics. In light of these issues the key question for my research is – who is most likely to be the victim of the marginalising practices of school mathematics? Through the mathematics curriculum whose knowledge, culture and language are represented and how does this accord with young people as they progress through school, the workplace and society?

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ID Code: 662
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Note: The author's name has since changed to Bronwyn Ewing
Keywords: teaching practices, mathematics education, inclusion, exclusion, marginalisation, early school leavers, non, completers of school, participation, identity
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2001 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 25 Jan 2005 00:00
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2012 09:44

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