Citation Swanson DM (2010) The Paradox and Politics of Disadvantage: Narrativizing critical moments of discourse and pedagogy. In: Walshaw M (ed.) Unpacking Pedagogy: New Perspectives for Mathematics. Greenwich, CT: Information Age, pp. 245-263. http://www.infoagepub.com/products/Unpacking-Pedagogy
Abstract First paragraph: Amartya Sen (1999), winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, wrote in Development as Freedom that "focusing on human freedoms contrasts with narrower views of development, such as identifying development with the growth of gross national product, or with the rise of personal incomes, or with industrialization, or with technological advance, or with social modernization" (p. 3). In attempting to refocus the intent and purpose of social development away from how it has been characterized in contemporary times, Sen holds us to account, ethically, for our participation in a globalizing project in which we are all implicated and yet whose effects we do not fully appreciate. Such ‘effects' are ideological in that they operate at the level of structures and interstices and are encoded within complicities of normative systems of human relations. They are, consequently, inherently moral. What are the implications for education, in general, and mathematics education, in particular, when industrialization and economic growth are the foremost policy objectives of a nation state? I will explore that issue in this chapter from a philosophical standpoint and apply the issue to the development of mathematics curriculum in a setting within South Africa.