Dr. Appelbaum Publishes on Preparing Mathematics Learners for Global Crises

By Caitlin Burns | March 30, 2021


By Katherine Haines ’21

Dr. Peter Appelbaum, professor of Education, had an article, “Embracing Dystopia: Mathematics Education in the COVID Era,” accepted for publication in the spring edition of Educational Studies in Mathematics. This article was co-authored by Charoula Stathopoulou, professor of Mathematics at the University of Thessaly in Greece, and Constantinos Xenofontos, lecturer in Education at the University of Stirling in Scotland.

In the article, Dr. Appelbaum focused on addressing the question of: “How might we enhance/reconsider mathematics education as both policy and practices in order to address society’s current situations and problems?” Dr. Appelbaum points to the COVID-19 pandemic as an example that demonstrates that the current system of mathematics education does not prepare learners to handle and manage global crises. Dr. Appelbaum suggests that critical ethnomathematics, a subfield of mathematical education that studies the relationship between mathematics and culture, should be a central focus of mathematics education.

“This article proposes that the actual situation of crisis and failure needs to be embraced,” said Dr. Appelbaum. “This approach, embracing dystopia, makes it possible to incorporate the best aspects of critical ethnomathematics, the one subfield of mathematics education that has already tread this path, by embracing the complexities and paradoxes of colonialism and its legacies.”