Prof Paola Valero

Phone: +46(0)8-1207 6821
Address: Department of Mathematics and Science EducationStockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden


My research has pursued the overall question of why and how mathematics education can be thought as political. My initial research in the 1990s at ”una empresa docente”, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia, brought together the issues of reform processes in mathematics education in the setting of school organizations. The connection between such reform and the possibilities for building democratic relationships around mathematics in schools were a forcus of research. In my PhD studies at the Royal Danish School of Educational Studies, an institution that now is part of Aarhus University in Denmark, the understanding of mathematics education reform in schools and in diverse social and political national contexts became important. Within studies of critical mathematics education, my research provided insight into the dynamics that bind micro-processes of teaching and learning in classrooms with larger social and political processes in which children, teachers and schools operate. During 14 years I worked at Aalborg University in Denmark, where in 2010 I was appointed Professor of Education in Math and Science in the Knowledge Society. My research explored the constitution of mathematics education in a broad socio-political network of practices, as an attempt of showing how the political of mathematics and mathematics education is connected to the social and cultural significance and value given to mathematics in contemporary societies. Together with a group of 9 PhD students a variety of sites of math and science education practices were explored. An overall cultural and political perspective to understand change in mathematics and science education was developed in collaboration with the students and international collaborators in topics such as science and math teachers’ professional life at the intersection of subject matter issues and contextual framing of their practice; learner’s and teachers’ identity formation processes in math and science; neoliberal changes in math and science education; and the growing economic steering of mathematics and science education.

More recently my research develops a new area of scholarship that can be called studies in the cultural politics of mathematics education. These studies highlight the centrality of mathematics and science in the making of a very strong Modern rationality that is at the basis of the social, cultural and economic development of Western societies. As subjects in the school curriculum, math and science together are not only providing important and highly valued knowledge to learners (children, youth or adults). These subjects are important elements of how through education modern citizens are made. My current research posits the focus of the political in how the organization of mathematics in schools are important sites of subjectification in contemporary societies. Such perspective unfolds in a diversity of studies of how mathematics education is implicated in processes of both inclusion and exclusion in society with respect to, for example, newly-arrived students or indigenous communities. Some studies are of a more historical type and explore the forming of mathematics education as a field of study, and the growing importance given to mathematics in schools since the Second World War. In other words, my research is highly interdisciplinary and provides an understanding of math (and science) as subjects of teaching and learning at the intersection between the scientific subjects, educational and pedagogical processes, and society. This basic research is of relevance to the theoretical but also practical construction of teacher education as well as to policy-making.


Mathematics and science education and the dispositive of technoscientificity
International collaborative project between Brazi, Colombia, Denmark and Sweden.It has as main purpose to analyze how discourses work on mathematical and scientific education, in different school forms of life, in their articulations with the dispositive of technoscientificity. S...

New Belonging through Math Education: in(ex)clusion of newly arrived children in math education in Sweden and USA
This project is part of the INSPIRE initiative of collaboration between Stockholm University and the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.The project addresses the question of how the configuration of math education practices impacts newly arrived learners’ sense of bel...



SOCAME (Social and citical aspects of mathematics education)
SOCAME is the research group on the social and citical aspects of mathematics education, at the Department of Mathematics and Science Education, MND.

The group comprises senior researchers and doctoral students, as well as a broad network of Swedish and international r...

Last updated on 2017-16-06 at 11:14