Mathematics Education in the Anthropocene

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Mathematics education as a field has had little interaction with issues of sustainability, yet the world faces unprecedented global and societal challenges. Human intervention has led some academics to suggest we have now entered a new era of geological time, the Anthropocene (Crutzen and Stoermer, 2000). The label ‘Anthropocene’, for some, signals the shift from hopes of ‘saving nature’ and ‘solving’ problems, to living with crises and problems as our new and permanent condition (Purdy, 2015). This paper asks what potential societal crises might mean for mathematics teaching and learning and offers a series of questions thrown up by considering mathematics education in the Anthropocene and some partial, fragmentary responses. One common element in these responses is a sense of returning attention to the present moment of interaction between students and teachers of mathematics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Mathematics Education and Contemporary Theory 3 Conference
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2016
EventMathematics Education and Contemporary Theory 3 - Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 18 Jul 201621 Jul 2016


ConferenceMathematics Education and Contemporary Theory 3
Abbreviated titleMECT 3
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Anthropocene
  • sustainability
  • mathematics teaching
  • mathematics learning
  • mathematics teacher education
  • uncertainty
  • paradox
  • aesthetic


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