The concept of culture in Critical Mathematics Education

Brendan Larvor, Karen François

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


A well-known critique in the research literature of critical mathematics education suggests that framing educational questions in cultural terms can encourage ethnic-cultural essentialism, obscure conflicts within cultures and promote an ethnographic or anthropological stance towards learners.
Nevertheless, we believe that some of the obstacles to learning mathematics are cultural. ‘Stereotype threat’, for example, has a basis in culture. Consequently, the aims of critical mathematics education cannot be seriously pursued without including a cultural approach in educational research.
We argue that an adequate conception of culture is available and should include normative/descriptive and material/ideal dyads as dialectical moments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Philosopher’s Perspective on the UK’s Higher Education: Teaching in the Iron Cage
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)1-5275-7383-4
ISBN (Print)978-1-5275-7383-3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2024


  • culture
  • education
  • higher education


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