Real Fantasies in Mathematics Education : numeracy, Quantitative Reasoners, and Transdisciplinary Wicked Problems
Craig, Jeffrey Carl
Numeracy--United States
Mathematics--Study and teaching (Higher)--United States
Postmodernism and higher education
Numeracy
Mathematics--Study and teaching (Higher)
Mathematics education
This dissertation has seven chapters. In chapter one, I discuss through why I am doing this dissertation, my positionality, and how I learned from and with all of my committee members.Chapter two is where I situate my dissertation study through developing a social theory of quantitative literacy by translating a social theory of literacy (Barton & Hamilton, 2000). I also describe my epistemological stance towards research as a creative act, my theoretical commitments to critical postmodernism, and summarize my methodologies and methods for each of the three articles. Chapter three is my first article. In this article, I historicize the numeracy discourse by writing a genealogy that traces how statements about numeracy emerge in scholarship, with a focus on the United States. Scholars’ statements about numeracy form a discourse that pressures mathematics education to reform. These pressures are sustained when scholars connect numeracy to historically powerful justifications for reform. I name these as three promises embedded in the discourse: (1) numeracy promises to reflect modern reality, (2) numeracy promises to empower, and (3) innumeracy promises to have social costs. I conclude with a discussion of the literacy myth and its implications for mathematics education. Chapter four is my second article. In this article, I take the quantitative reasoner to be a persona embodying the goals mathematics educators describe for who our students should become. The quantitative reasoner has both cognitive and affective dimensions; they know and feel particular things about mathematics and statistics. As a member of a curriculum design team, I invoked the value of students becoming quantitative reasoners to defend new courses existing. My students helped me see that the quantitative reasoner is an incomplete person who is a fantasy of mathematics educators, including myself. Together, we re-humanized the quantitative reasoner and each other. Chapter five is my third article. This article describes findings from a study on students’ projects during a mathematics course in quantitative literacy. The issues students chose to research turned out to be connected to a particular class of problems. Across places and disciplines, people are working on these wicked problems which are messy, global, connected, responsive, and unavoidable. Wicked problems are in contrast to curricula that may center tame problems. This apparent mismatch provided the impetus to consider education for wicked problems. After coding students’ projects using the Rittel & Weber’s (1973/1984) ten characteristics of wicked problems, I found three themes: complexity, transdisciplinarity, and openness. Chapter six is my conclusion. In the chapter I synthesize what I have done in my dissertation and revisit some of my theoretical work – most notably my social theory of quantitative literacy. I also use my dissertation to revisit mathematics education as a whole, including research, and try to make some new connections and trouble my conclusions. Chapter seven is my parting thoughts. In it, I return to my positionality by discussing an aesthetic choice I have engaged during this dissertation. That aesthetic is the metamodern aesthetic and it involves the juxtaposition of incredible seriousness with playful detachment. I think about the metamodern aesthetic and my millennial identity in order to reframe doing education research.
Includes bibliographical references.
Online resource; title from PDF title page (ProQuest viewed on June 3, 2019)
Herbel-Eisenmann, Beth A
Dominguez, Higinio
Smith III, John P
Melfi, Vince
2017
text
Electronic dissertations
Academic theses
application/pdf
1 online resource (xiii, 171 pages)
etd:6753
isbn:9780355189827
isbn:0355189828
umi:10621502
local:Craig_grad.msu_0128D_15580
https://doi.org/doi:10.25335/M50C30
eng
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International