Mathematics Education and Society
An International Conference
6th - 11th  September 1998
University of Nottingham

Conference Proceedings

The First Mathematics Education and Society Conference (MEAS1) was organised by the Centre for the Study of Mathematics Education, and held in Nottingham  6th - 11th September 1998. All papers were placed on the web in advance of the conference so that participants could come to presentations having read the papers. In addition to this hot spots are provided for pre-conference communication to colleagues presenting papers. All papers are available below, and copies of the proceedings are available from CSME.
There is an email discussion list available and all those who attended the conference - as well as others - are subscribed to the list. Messages should be sent to .

This page was last updated by Peter Gates on Tuesday 5th January 1999.

Conference Activity

The conference consists of the following four activities. Each day of the conference is given over to a general theme. This is intended not to be restrictive but to offer guidelines on areas of activity.


Plenary Lectures

There are 6 Plenary Lectures given by invited colleagues working across the world in diverse areas of mathematics education and society. The Plenary lectures are paired into general themes. Each pair of speakers will have one and a half-hours and it is intended that each speaker will speak for about 30 minutes leaving 30 minutes for contributions form the floor. Plenary speakers have been asked to produce a brief synopsis or overview of the lecture which will include the key issues and questions related to their lecture. All participants will then move into the plenary discussion Groups . . .

Discussion Groups

Each plenary lecture will be followed by discussion groups of around 10 people. These are timetabled to last for 1 hour and will take up the issues and themes from the plenary lectures. .The purpose of these discussion groups is to widen participation allowing more participants to contribute to debate and discussion on the themes raised in the lectures - and indeed any others the groups feel relevant. Each discussion group will produce a brief report detailing the key themes, issues questions, etc.  this will be passed to the plenary speakers. The two plenary speakers will be circulating around the 5 or 6 discussion groups and will be making notes to allow then to respond to the discussion in the Plenary Response sessions . . .

Plenary Response Sessions

Each afternoon will include a plenary Response Session of 1 hour where the two plenary speakers- plus possibly others will form a panel to respond to some of the issues raised in the groups through their own observations and the discussion Group Reports.

Presented Papers

Some 30 papers have been accepted onto the conference programme and two hours are allocated to paper presentations each day. 40 minutes will be allocated to each paper. However the sessions will run somewhat differently than presentations in other conferences. One of our intentions is to empower conference participants and to raise the profile of the social frame in conferences. Consequently paper presentations will run as follows. We hope this will significantly improve the quality of paper presentations and subsequent discussion. However it does require participants to read the papers before sessions in some depth. Papers have been placed on the World Wide Web (see below), so participants with access to the WWW can read the papers before the conference. All papers will be collected into the conference proceedings, which will be available on registration. This procedure will also require presenter to be able to briefly summarise the paper and key issues it raises.


There have been three symposia proposed for the conference: Symposia organisers and members will have an hour on each of the four full days of the conference at their disposal and will organise accordingly.

Fringe Meetings and Networking time

One of the most useful aspects of an international conference is the free time one has to meet informally and chat, discus, plan, get together with others interested in things you find interesting. For this reasons we have put on Fringe Meeting and Networking time each hour of the four full days of the conference. During this time participants can meet other, organise sessions or meetings of their own and just get to know each other. Time will also be available in the campus bars and city pubs in the evening!

Some participants may want to organise Discussion Groups during some or all of these sessions. One such discussion group we have already been informed about is:

Working with street children - Main Organiser Renuka Vithal, South Africa

Plenary Lectures

Jill Adler University of Witswatersrand, South Africa Distribution of Resources = Equity?
Ubiratan D'Ambrosio Sao Paolo University, Brazil Literacy, Matheracy and Technocracy. The New Trivum for the Era of Technology
Alan Bishop Monash University, Australia Cultural conflicts and social change: conceptualising the possibilities and the limitations of mathematics education
Leone Burton University of Birmingham, UK Thinking about Mathematical Thinking - heterogeneity and its social justice implications
Paul Dowling London Institute of Education, UK Why :The Sociology of Mathematics Education?
Marilyn Frankenstein University of Massachusetts The Critical Mathematics Educators Group (CMEG): Attempting to Connect Anti-Capitalist Work with Mathematics Education
Steve Lerman and Anna Tsatsaroni South Bank University, UK Patras University, Greece Why children fail and what mathematics education studies can do about it. The contribution/role of sociology
Sal Restivo Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA Mathematics, Mind, and Society: An Anarchist Theory of Inquiry and Education
Ole Skovsmose Royal Danish School of Educational Studies Aporism, and the problem of democracy in mathematics education

Presented Papers

May Abboud American University, Beirut, Lebanon Teaching mathematics in Lebanon a post-war experience
Bill Atweh Queensland University of technology, Australia Beginning Teachers using action research toward inclusive mathematics
Dave Baker University of Brighton, Great Britain Mathematics as social practice: implications for mathematics in primary teacher education
Roberto Baldino UNESP, Rio Claro, Brazil School and surplus value: contribution form a third-world country
Mary Barnes University of Melbourne Australia Analysing power relationships in collaborative groups in mathematics
Jo Boaler, Dylan Wiliam and Margaret Brown Stanford University, USA, Kings College, London Students’ experiences of ability grouping -disaffection, polarisation and the construction of failure.
Mathume Bopape Mathematics Science and Technology Education College, South Africa The South African New Mathematics Curriculum: People’s Mathematics for People’s Power?
Margarida Cesar Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal Social interactions and mathematics learning
Tang Kwok Chun The Open University of Honk Kong, Hong Kong Social origins of secondary mathematics knowledge in Hong Kong and Macau
Diana Coben Goldsmiths College, London, Great Britain Common sense or Good sense? Ethnomathematics and the Prospects for a Gramscian Politics of adult Education
Barry Cooper and Mairead Dunne University of Sussex, Great Britain Social class, gender, equity and National curriculum tests in mathematics
Mairead Dunne Institute of Education, University of Sussex, Great Britain Pupil entry for National Curriculum Mathematics tests: the public and private life of teacher assessments
Paul Ernest University of Exeter, Great Britain Restoring discipline to the class: the national curriculum for primary mathematics teacher education
Jeff Evans and Anna Tsatsaroni Middlesex University, Great Britain and University of Patras, Greece You Are as You Read: the role of texts in the production of  subjectivity
Marilyn Frankenstein University of Massacusetts, USA Reading the world with Maths: goals for a critical mathematical literacy curriculum
Gloria Gilmer Math Tech, Milwaukee, USA Ethnomathematics: An African American Perspective On Developing Women In Mathematics
Nuria Gorgorio Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain Starting a research project with immigrant students: constraints, possibilities, observations and challenges
Tansy Hardy Sheffield Hallam University, Great Britain Tales of Power. Foucault in the mathematics classroom.
Betty Johnston University of Technology Sydney, Australia Maths and gender: given or made
Lesley Jones and Barbara Allebone Goldsmiths College, London, Great Britain Researching 'hard to reach' groups: Some methodological issues.
Herbert Khuzwayo University of Zululand, South Africa "Occupation of our minds": A dominant feature in Mathematics education in South Africa
Georgianna Klein Grand Valley State University, United States of America Discourse as a problem solving strategy
Mary Klein James Cooke University, Australia How teacher subjectivity in teaching-mathematics-as-usual disenfranchises students
Gelsa Knijnik University of the Vale of Rio dos Santos, Brazil Ethnomathematics and postmodern thinking: conver/divergences
Darlinda Moreira Universidade Aberta, Portugal Facing exclusion. The student as person
Darlinda Moreira and Jose Matos Universidade Aberta, New University of Lisbon Prospecting Sociology of Mathematics form Mathematics Education
Leonor Moreira and Susana Carreira University of the Algarve, New University of Lisbon, Portugal No excuses to command, no excuses to obey. no excuses to ignore. Some data to reflect upon
Candia Morgan Institute of Education, London, Great Britain Assessment of mathematical behaviour: a social perspective
David Paden University of Kansas, USA Development of a community of Mathematicians in the elementary classroom
Hilary Povey Sheffield Hallam University. Great Britain 'Do triangles exist?': the nature of mathematical knowledge and critical mathematics education
Leo Rogers Roehampton Institute, Great Britain Society, mathematics and the cultural divide: Ideologies of policy and practice 1750 - 1900
Madalena Santos and Joao Filipe Matos University of Lisbon, Portugal Learning about mathematics learning with ardenas at Cabo Verde
Mary Ellen Schmidt Ohio State University, USA Cultural Conflict: a pre-service japanese student in American schools
Jose Segarra Harvard University, United States of America Commerce, Colonialism and Culture in 19th century Puerto Rican arithmetic word problems
Allan Tarp The Royal Danish School of Education, Denmark What if mathematics is a social construction?
Chilakamarri Vijayalakshmi SU College of Education, Hyderabad, India A few thoughts and many queries about mathematical culture and mathematics education
Anne Watson University of Oxford, Great Britain Potential sources of inequity in teachers' informal judgments about pupils' mathematics
Dylan Wiliam King's College London, Great Britain How to do things with assessments: illocutionary speech acts and communities of practice
Keiko Yasukawa University of Technology, Sydney, Australia Looking at mathematics as technology: implications for numeracy
Robyn Zevenbergen Griffith University, Australia Classroom interaction and linguistic capital: a Bourdieuian analysis of the construction of social difference in mathematical education

Copies of the Proceedings are available at a cost of £10 for individuals or £15 for institutions, from:

Centre for the Study of Mathematics Education
School of Education, Nottingham University
Nottingham NG7 2RD, Great Britain