The International Journal of Critical Pedagogy

Mathematics for the Future of Humanity: A Radical Onto-epistemological approach

Nataly Z. Chesky, Mark Wolfmeyer


In this paper, the authors utilize a Freirean utopian pedagogy to envision a mathematics education for the future of humanity. To begin, the authors investigate how mathematics and its education correlate to particular dominate social norms and institutions that play a significant role in perpetuating our present shared social reality. Utilizing the work of ecofeminist and ecojustice scholars, the authors explain how mathematics’ and its education perpetuates a “logic of domination.”  Next, the authors explore how mathematics and its education could be envisioned and practiced in ways that directly counteract its previous uses and offer alternative pedagogy and curricula choices for fostering a utopian vision where the human race that live in balance with the ecosystem. Drawing from the work of Bateson and philosophers of mathematics, aesthetic aspects of mathematics are shown to be essential aspects of a new form of mathematics. Last, the authors turn to the work of Bookchin to help understand how mathematics can be envisioned to better serve a utopian world marked by anarchist concepts of usufruct, complementarity and “irreducible minimum.” The authors conclude with suggestions to implement an onto-epistemological mathematics education curricula and pedagogy in the classroom.


utopia, Freire, mathematics education, ecojustice, ecofeminism

Full Text: