The future of mathematics education since COVID-19: humans-with-media or humans-with-non-living-things

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Borba, Marcelo C. [UNESP]

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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the agenda of mathematics education. This change will be analyzed by looking at three trends in mathematics education: the use of digital technology, philosophy of mathematics education, and critical mathematics education. Digital technology became a trend in mathematics education in response to the arrival of a different kind of artifact to the mathematics classroom. It was thrust into the spotlight as the pandemic suddenly moved classrooms online around the world. Challenges specific to mathematics education in this context must be addressed. The link between the COVID-19 pandemic and digital technology in education also raises epistemological issues highlighted by philosophy of mathematics education and critical mathematics education. Using the notion that the basic unit of knowledge production throughout history is humans-with-media, I discuss how humans are connected to the virus, how it has laid bare social inequality, and how it will change the agendas of these three trends in mathematics education. I highlight the urgent need to study how mathematics education happens online for children when the home environment and inequalities in access to digital technologies assume such significant roles as classes move on-line. We need to understand the political role of agency of artifacts such as home in collectives of humans-with-media-things, and finally we need to learn how to implement curricula that address social inequalities. This discussion is intertwined with examples.



COVID-19, Critical mathematics education, Digital technology, Humans-with-media, Philosophy of mathematics education, SARS-COV-2

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Educational Studies in Mathematics.