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Original Research

Mathematics education and the dignity of being

Paola Valero, Gloria García, Francisco Camelo, Gabriel Mancera, Julio Romero

Pythagoras; Vol 33, No 2 (2012), 9 pages. doi: 10.4102/pythagoras.v33i2.171

Submitted: 14 April 2012
Published:  15 November 2012


On the grounds of our work as researchers, teacher educators and teachers engaging with a socio-political approach in mathematics education in Colombia, we propose to understand democracy in terms of the possibility of constructing a social subjectivity for the dignity of being. We address the dilemma of how the historical insertion of school mathematics in relation to the Colonial project of assimilation of Latin American indigenous peoples into the episteme of the Enlightenment and Modernity is in conflict with the possibility of the promotion of a social subjectivity in mathematics classrooms. We illustrate a pedagogical possibility to move towards a mathematics education for social subjectivity with our work in reassembling the notion of geometrical space in the Colombian secondary school mathematics curriculum with notions of space from critical geography and the problem of territorialisation, and Latin American epistemology with the notion of intimate space as an important element of social subjectivity.

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Author affiliations

Paola Valero, Department of Learning and Philosophy, Aalborg University, Denmark
Gloria García, Department of Mathematics, Universidad Pedagógica Nacional, Colombia
Francisco Camelo, Faculty of Science and Education, Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, Colombia
Gabriel Mancera, Faculty of Science and Education, Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, Colombia
Julio Romero, Faculty of Science and Education, Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, Colombia


Social subjectivity; cultural history of school mathematics; dignity of being; geometrical space; intimate space; territorialisation


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