Ethics and the challenges for inclusive Mathematics teaching

Helen Jara Forgasz, Jennifer Bernadette Bleazby, Carly Sawatzki

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


“Ethical understanding” has been included as one of seven general capabilities that teachers are charged to incorporate in their teaching across all subject areas within an inclusive Australian Curriculum. In this chapter, we explore the dilemmas and challenges this will present to teachers of mathematics. We draw on ideas from psychology and philosophy to argue that moral development is not simply an internal, automatic process, nor is it a by-product of general intellectual development. Successful moral development only occurs under particular conditions. We demonstrate how selected contexts associated with some mathematical concepts, and the social issues related to them (e.g., economics, sustainability, and equity), are value-laden and ethically problematic. If all students are to develop the capacities for moral reasoning and informed decision-making, and apply them in relevant contexts, we argue that teachers must create and actively foster learning experiences which stimulate ethical inquiry and discussion in contextualised mathematical problems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiversity in Mathematics Education
Subtitle of host publicationTowards Inclusive Practices
EditorsAlan Bishop, Hazel Tan, Tasos N. Barkatsas
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783319059785
ISBN (Print)9783319059778
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameMathematics Education Library
ISSN (Print)0924-4921
ISSN (Electronic)2214-983X


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