Statistical messages in Chile’s presidential campaign as a concern for mathematics education

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In Chile, mandatory secondary education has as one of its main purposes the preparation of future adultsfor responsible and critical citizenship. In this paper, considering the equal right to vote for citizens as amatter of social justice, my objective is to address the role of statistical messages in the latest Chileanpresidential campaign. Drawing upon the framework of critical mathematics education research, I analyseillustrative cases of the formatting power of statistics in the presidential election, and perform a preliminaryanalysis of classroom situations that involve such authentic cases. The research question to be addressed is:How do 12th grade students handle statistical messages from a recent political campaign in themathematics class environment?Statistics is not merely a set of mathematical notions and procedures in contexts. The history of itsdevelop ment takes into account the collection of da ta in matters concerned by the States, as a means fordecision making and comparison. It is this historical context which led to the coining of the German wordStatistisk, translated in as “political arithmetic” in English. Put into context, State political concerns andstatistical information are notions that go together. This arithmetic serves to validate political opinions.According to Skovsmose and Valero (2012), the relationship between mathematics education anddemocracy is not trivial, and interactions in the classroom should be explored with significant contextualmathematical narratives in society. In particular, Sánchez and Blomhøj (2010) call for using the role ofmathematics in politics in educational practices.Chilean 12th grade mathematics current version of the curriculum expects students to critically evaluatestatistical information extracted from the media. For this matter, I propose the use of examples from Chile’slast presidential campaign regarding statistical messages in the classroom. They include presentation andinferences regarding crime rates, economic growth, national debt and electoral polls.As a research method, the preliminary and a priori analyses of a didactical engineering are covered. Withinthis framework, and in collaboration with a Chilean teacher and researcher, a didactical design is proposedto have students discussing selected statistical messages in the context of the campaign.For the analysis of the classroom activities, I propose a systematization of Ole Skovsmose’s six entry pointsor worry questions that allow me to frame students’ discussions as being part of a mathematical,technological or reflective knowing. As of the submission of this paper, the findings can only be stated asexpected outcomes. In a general sense, the expectation is that students will try to evaluate the politicalstatistics as mathematical or technological truths more spontaneously. With the intervention of the teacher,discussions will take the shape of reflective knowing of the formative power of mathematics in society.
Antal sider1
StatusUdgivet - 2018
BegivenhedJustEd2018 international research conference: Promoting justice through education - University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Varighed: 22 maj 201823 maj 2018


KonferenceJustEd2018 international research conference
LokationUniversity of Helsinki
AndetThe JustEd2018 international research conference connected more than 150 academics from all over the world, sharing their knowledge and experiences on how to promote social justice through education on a global scale. The conference problematized the current educational trends in Nordic education and explored new possibilities for promoting justice, equity and equality through educational politics, governance, inclusive educational practices and agency of teachers and students, at all levels of education.

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