“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.
|Title of host publication||Diversity in Mathematics Education|
|Subtitle of host publication||Towards Inclusive Practices|
|Editors||Alan Bishop, Hazel Tan, Tasos N. Barkatsas|
|Place of Publication||Switzerland|
|Number of pages||19|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
|Name||Mathematics Education Library|