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By Stieg Mellin-Olsen

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Additional info for The Politics of Mathematics Education (Mathematics Education Library)

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When level (1) is practised, it is usually independent of the theoretical subjects represented at level (2) and (3). Within the Norwegian scene, I have experienced that there is much to be learned from education in the vocational schools. Here, originally one and the same teacher would teach both theory and practice. This teacher would thus be in a position to genuinely integrate the two sides of knowledge. Take, for instance, the craft profession of welding. Here knowledge about geometrical shapes is indispensable.

P. 51 This is almost the same as Bateson’s (1973) claim that mind is part of a greater Mind, which is immanent in the environment of the individual. One of the problems the educationist faces here is to determine where the boundaries of the significant environment are located. One can go the whole way, seeing how the pupil is under the influence of her family which is under the influence of employers who are under the influence of the government, and so on. There is always a way of explaining behaviour in this sense.

The works of Willis (1976, 1977) demonstrate that it is not necessarily recognised as a defeat for working class boys to get working class jobs. In Willis’s sample from the Midlands in England, it is not sad when the “lads” fail at school. O n the contrary, Willis found that working class boys actively rejected school, it was a choice which was an act of freedom and independence. Willis’s great contribution here is that in a profound way, he describes the transition from school to work for a group of working class boys, showing how they were determined to stay working class, how this determination was affected by the school, and also how it affected their attitudes towards school.

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