Praxis and Practice Architectures in Mathematics Education

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This paper discusses the way 'right conduct' in education ' praxis ' is embedded in social practices 'practice architectures ' which enable and constrain conduct in three dimensions: cultural-discursive, material-economic, and social-political, or 'sayings', 'doings', and 'relatings'. It is argued that changing professional practices like mathematics education is not just a matter of changing the understandings (cf.sayings), skills, and capabilities (cf. doings) or values and norms (cf. relatings) of practitioners, but also changing the practice architectures that enable and constrain practitioners' actions and interactions. The practice architectures of mathematics education are constructed not only by the knowledge, capabilities, and values internal to traditions in mathematics education but also by meta-practices external to those traditions' particularly the meta-practices of educational administration and policy making, initial and continuing teacher education, and educational research and evaluation. Today, the elaborateness, the rigidity and the compulsions associated with these meta-practices threaten the vitality of education in general, including mathematics education. Educators are thus confronted by an invidious choice. Should they conduct their practice as praxis, oriented by tradition and by considerations of the good for each person and the good for humankind as these are expressed in the conduct of education as a practice, as agents of education? Or should they conduct themselves as the operatives of the education systems in which they find themselves, following the rules and procedures that constitute the functional rationality of those systems?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMERGA 31
Subtitle of host publicationNavigating currents and charting directions
EditorsMerrilyn Goos, Ray Brown, Katie Makar
Place of PublicationBrisbane
PublisherMathematics Education Research Group of Australasia
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781920846163
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventAnnual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia - Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Duration: 28 Jun 200801 Jul 2008


ConferenceAnnual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia


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