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PiCaM: Citizenship and mathematics



 Professor Hilary Povey, Dr Gill Adams, Fufy Demissie

Partner organisations

Aga Khan Foundation, Development Education Centre (South Yorkshire), Mathematikum Giessen, University of Bucharest, University of Thessaly

Project date


Developing critical citizenship and global learning through and within mathematics teaching

This project embeds critical citizenship and global learning in the teaching and learning of mathematics in school.  The focus is on 10-12 year-olds but materials produced are likely to be suitable for a wider age range. The intended outputs are teacher professional development modules; contributions to initial teacher education; and curriculum materials for school learners.

Background. In an increasingly globalised world, critical global learning should form a vital part of children's education. Global competence includes acquiring the knowledge and awareness of global and intercultural issues and the ability to learn from and live with people from diverse backgrounds, developing the capacities for mutually respectful interaction and open and flexible attitudes.  This is in line with the priority of the EU to foster education which addresses social, ethnic, linguistic and cultural diversity and which develops social, civic, intercultural competences, media literacy and critical thinking. In addition, mathematics education researchers have long recognised that mathematics is formatting society, often creating and reinforcing inequality and social division.

Themes to be explored in the PiCaM project include the global nature of mathematics; mathematics in history; ethno-mathematics; critical numeracy; and modelling contemporary social issues. For example: revealing the Hindu-Arabic roots of the number system; Nubian multiplication; tiling in Islamic art; measures of well-being; using scale to understand migration. The processes used will emphasise an embodied approach with learners working together to create a community of enquiry, one within which they experience rational and reasonable dialogue about things that matter to them and their teachers. Thus both the topic content and the espoused pedagogy will support the development of the knowledge, attitudes, dispositions and skills that are required for critical global learning within the teaching of mathematics.

Please visit the PiCaM website to find out more.


Co-funded by the Erasmus+ project of the European Union


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