Harvard Educational Review
  1. Spring 2015 Issue »

    Toward a Political Economy of Mathematics Education

    HOUMAN HAROUNI
    Why do schools teach the mathematics that they do? In this essay, Houman Harouni asserts that educational institutions offer mathematics standards and curricula without providing convincing justifications and that students are tested on content whose purpose neither they nor their teachers clearly understand. He proposes a theoretical framework for understanding the content and pedagogy of school mathematics as a set of practices reflecting sociopolitical values, particularly in relation to labor and citizenship. Beginning with a critical study of the history of mathematics instruction, Harouni traces the origins of modern math education to the early institutions in which mathematics served a clear utilitarian purpose, and in the process he unearths common, unexamined assumptions regarding the place and form of mathematics education in contemporary society.

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    Houman Harouni is an instructor in education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His research combines theory, empirical observation, and practice in order to unearth and reframe assumptions regarding the purpose and shape of education. His article in this issue of HER represents a summary of the theoretical aspect of his work on mathematics. His previous scholarly articles have appeared in the Harvard Educational Review, Berkeley Review of Education, and Curriculum and Teaching Dialogue, among other journals. Harouni is also a writer and cultural critic, publishing regularly with more popular and literary outlets such as The Guardian, PBS Frontline, and The American Reader.
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    Spring 2015 Issue

    Abstracts

    At the End of Intellectual Disability
    CHRISTOPHER KLIEWER, DOUGLAS BIKLEN, AND AMY J. PETERSEN
    Ethical and Professional Norms in Community-Based Research
    GERALD CAMPANO, MARÍA PAULA GHISO, AND BETHANY J. WELCH
    Lead Policy and Academic Performance
    Insights from Massachusetts
    JESSICA WOLPAW REYES
    Education and the Production of Diasporic Citizens in El Salvador
    ANDREA DYRNESS AND ENRIQUE SEPÚLVEDA III

    Book Notes

    Our School
    Sam Chaltain

    Laboratory of Learning
    Sharon Gay Pierson

    The Quest for Mastery
    Sam M. Intrator and Don Siegel