Commentary: Should Mathematics Teacher Education Be Politically Neutral?

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  • 1 Ohio University

Many current and prospective teachers, policy makers, and members of the public view mathematics as neutral and objective, and they expect mathematics teaching and teacher education to be neutral as well. But what would it mean to think of mathematics teacher education as politically neutral? Below we consider some questions that we see as highlighting why mathematics teacher education cannot be neutral. We are not the first to raise these issues, but we appreciate the opportunity to discuss and reflect on them among a community of mathematics teacher educators. Although these questions have always been relevant, we see their importance growing in the face of the increased mathematization of our world and a highly polarized political landscape with a seemingly increased public acceptance of oppressive discourse and actions (Potok, 2017).

Contributor Notes

Mathew D. Felton-Koestler, 309T McCracken Hall, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701;

Courtney Koestler, 321A McCracken Hall, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701;

(Corresponding author is Felton-Koestler author is Koestler
Mathematics Teacher Educator


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