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Title: Becoming an Activist-Mathematician in an Age of Austerity
Authors: Esmonde, Indigo
Curnow, Joe
Riviere, Dominique
Issue Date: Jun-2014
Publisher: Boulder, CO: International Society of the Learning Sciences
Citation: Esmonde, I., Curnow, J., & Riviere, D. (2014). Becoming an Activist-Mathematician in an Age of Austerity. In Joseph L. Polman, Eleni A. Kyza, D. Kevin O'Neill, Iris Tabak, William R. Penuel, A. Susan Jurow, Kevin O'Connor, Tiffany Lee, and Laura D'Amico (Eds.). Learning and Becoming in Practice: The International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2014. Volume 1. Colorado, CO: International Society of the Learning Sciences, pp. 134-141.
Abstract: In the wake of the global economic crises of the 21st century, governments worldwide have implemented austerity policies, involving dramatic reductions in expenditures. These economic policies provide context for mathematization, as ordinary people grapple with the ways these policies affect their daily lives. In this article, we present an analysis of interviews with members of a Toronto-based activist network that fought against the City's proposed budget cuts in 2011 and 2012. We found that the context of activism spawned a wide variety of mathematics problems related to the activists' overarching goals: understanding the City's use of mathematics, creating their own mathematics, storytelling to the public, and behind-the-scenes tactics. We highlight the ways mathematical activity was always ideological, always accomplished through a division of labor within the group, and always strategically selected. We close by considering processes by which activist mathematicians can be better supported by formal and informal education.
Appears in Collections:ICLS2014

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