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M Is Not Just for STEM: How Myths about the Purposes of Mathematics Education Have Narrowed Mathematics Curricula in the United States

Department of Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020047
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 16 March 2018 / Accepted: 16 March 2018 / Published: 10 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dispelling Myths about Mathematics)
When public schooling was first introduced in the United States, early proponents emphasized the need for mathematics as critical for an informed citizenry in a democracy. Half a century later, this purpose of mathematics has been almost entirely overshadowed by the push for mathematics to maintain technological and economic advantages. The belief that preparation for technological careers is, and has historically been, the only purpose for school mathematics in the US has become a myth widely believed by the public and policymakers alike. As this myth took hold, mathematics curricula were narrowed, incorporating only the mathematics, and applications of mathematics, that supported this specific purpose. Not only does this narrowing of school mathematics negatively impact the development of informed citizens, but it limits the extent to which mathematics can be studied in ways that engage all learners. The emergence of mathematics for social justice is thus—in part—an attempt to recapture the broader purposes of school mathematics. View Full-Text
Keywords: constructivism; history of mathematics education; new math; mathematics for social justice constructivism; history of mathematics education; new math; mathematics for social justice
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MDPI and ACS Style

Raymond, K. M Is Not Just for STEM: How Myths about the Purposes of Mathematics Education Have Narrowed Mathematics Curricula in the United States. Educ. Sci. 2018, 8, 47.

AMA Style

Raymond K. M Is Not Just for STEM: How Myths about the Purposes of Mathematics Education Have Narrowed Mathematics Curricula in the United States. Education Sciences. 2018; 8(2):47.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Raymond, Kate. 2018. "M Is Not Just for STEM: How Myths about the Purposes of Mathematics Education Have Narrowed Mathematics Curricula in the United States" Educ. Sci. 8, no. 2: 47.

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