Jump to content

MGUMA530 An introduction to critical mathematics education

Course description for academic year 2020/2021

Contents and structure

The course is aimed at master students who are interested to learn about critical perspectives in Mathematics Education. The program will provide insight into and knowledge of educational research and practice in critical mathematics education. It is open to both international and Norwegian master students in mathematics education.

Critical mathematics education explores the impact of mathematics education on the development of democracy and democratically educated citizens in a multicultural society. This involves studying how mathematics affects society and how the social function of mathematics could be conceptualized. 

The aim of the course is to introduce students to the relationships between mathematics, education and society. One way to explore these relationships is through mathematical modelling of relevant issues or situations from society. Mathematical modelling from a didactical perspective will therefore be one of the focus areas in the course. Other topics of interest that can be used to explore these relationships are social justice issues and the use of technologies. During the course, the students will engage in reflections about critical teaching and learning, and their connection to mathematics education as a field of practice and Research.

Learning Outcome


The student has:

  • In-depth knowledge about the use of critical mathematics education perspectives in teaching practice and research
  • Knowledge about the role of mathematics in cultural and socio-political contexts, such as in democratic processes, citizenship and the multicultural society
  • Has advanced knowledge of elements of mathematical modelling that support critical education


The student can

  • Identify and discuss social, cultural, and political dimensions associated to mathematics teaching and learning
  • Facilitate for critical mathematics discussions in teaching and learning contexts
  • Analyse, develop and conduct a modelling activity from a critical perspective

General competence

The student can:

  • Communicate academic work in accordance with ethical premises
  • Analyse and relate critically to national and international research in critical mathematics education and apply this knowledge in the professional practice  

Entry requirements

Bachelor’s degree in mathematics, mathematics education or equivalent.

Teaching methods

The course can be held over a shorter, intensive period with a view to making it relevant for students from other institutions. The instruction is organised in the form of lectures, seminars and supervision. Details about the course organization and teaching will be given during the course start. It is expected that students participate actively in all aspects of teaching. Parts of the literature list should be worked with independently, and it is advised that the literature is studied through student collaboration.

Compulsory learning activities

Individual oral presentation in seminar(s) in preparation for the exam text. Compulsory participation in the seminars.


The students will write a reflecting text of 3000 words about a chosen topic in critical mathematics education. The topic has to be approved by the course instructor. 

Grading scale: A-F, where F corresponds to fail.

Examination support material


More about examination support material