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The contested terrain of 'socially just' mathematics education in Aotearoa*/New Zealand

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The quest to improve educational experiences and outcomes for indigenous Māori students is a dominant feature of the educational landscape in Aotearoa/New Zealand. In this presentation I explore competing visions of what ‘socially just’ mathematics education might mean in this context, drawing on examples including the controversy around mixed attainment teaching versus setting, and knowledge versus skills. In doing so, I draw on two sources: 1) The New Zealand Curriculum (2007) and other official policy documents; and 2) interviews and focus groups with secondary mathematics teachers from two related studies. Through this analysis I develop the argument that some debates which appear highly ideological or values-based may be more empirical than they appear, and that mathematics education research, skilfully communicated, has much to offer in these domains.

*Aotearoa is a Māori word, now also commonly used within New Zealand English, for the islands known internationally as New Zealand

This talk is part of the Mathematics Education Research Group (MERG) series.

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