DOI: 10.3390/educsci13121201 ISSN: 2227-7102

Bringing Critical Mathematics Education and Actor–Network Theory to a Statistics Course in Mathematics Teacher Education: Actants for Articulating Complexity in Student Teachers’ Foregrounds

Magnus Ödmo, Anna Chronaki, Lisa Bjorklund Boistrup
  • Public Administration
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

In this paper, we discuss how critical mathematics education (CME) and actor–network theory (ANT) come together in a mathematics teacher education course that focuses on the thematic context of climate change to study statistics. Acknowledging the complexity that student teachers encounter when asked to move from a mainly instrumental treatment of statistics toward a critical foreground of data in society, we turn to explore the actant networks, as theorized by ANT, utilized by student teachers when asked to imagine teaching from a CME perspective. For this, our study is based on a series of interviews with student teachers who participated in a statistics course where pollution data graphs were discussed, inquiring about their role as future critical mathematics teachers. The transcribed interviews, analyzed through ANT, inform us as to how student teachers’ foregrounds are being shaped by actants such as the curriculum, social justice, democracy, and source critique, among others. Based on the above, we recommend that teacher education should invite active discussion of the complexity created when a CME perspective is required. This move would allow for a critical approach to critical mathematics education itself that could prepare student teachers to navigate, instead of ignoring or opposing, such complexity.

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