Values in mathematics education: Making values teaching explicit in the mathematics classroom.

Year: 1999

Author: Bishop, Alan, Clarkson, Philip, FitzSimons, Gail, Seeah, Wee Tiong

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Values in mathematics education: Making values teaching explicit in the mathematics classroom Values in mathematics education are the deep affective qualities which education aims to foster through the school subject of mathematics and are a crucial component of the classroom affective environment. As a result of demands that students become more economically oriented and globally conscious, mathematics educators are being challenged about which values should be developed through mathematics education. Our concern is that, although values teaching and learning inevitably happen in all mathematics classrooms, they appear to be mostly implicit. Thus it is likely that teachers have only limited understanding of what values are being taught and encouraged. The new questions we are asking are:

What are teachers' understandings of their own intended and implemented values?

To what extent can mathematics teachers gain control over their own values teaching? (c) Is it possible to increase the possibilities for more effective mathematics teaching through values education of teachers, and of teachers in training? In order to begin to answer these questions we need to theorise values teaching in mathematics. In this paper we will analyse three interrelated sources of values which permeate mathematics classrooms: general educational, mathematical, and specifically mathematics educational. We will also analyse the various forces impacting on teachers' decision-making with respect to explicit and implicit values teaching from a range of perspectives.