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Integrating ethics into mathematics education: A philosophical auto/ethnographic inquiry into Indonesian mathematics education

Simanjorang, Mangaratua (2016) Integrating ethics into mathematics education: A philosophical auto/ethnographic inquiry into Indonesian mathematics education. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Unity in diversity is the foundation principle of my country. For me this is the simplest yet clearest description of Indonesia. There is no Indonesia without diversity, and no Indonesia without unity. Differences that are implicit in diversity can be a reason for conflict or for the origin of harmony, depending on how we relate and respond to the other. My anxiety about potential conflict and my dream for a harmonious life in relation to the diversity of my country raises a question in my mind: what is my role as a mathematics educator to make that dream come true? This thought about my relation with the other and my ability to respond to the existence of the other brings forward a concern for ethics. Ethical responsibility may become the answer to both my anxiety and my dream, which then raises another question: how can I integrate ethics into mathematics education? This thesis is a story about my journey in pursuing an answer to these anxiety/dream questions.

Trying to understand the meaning of the ancient term ‘ethics’ is like a journey in a deep dark jungle; filled with uncertainty, anything might happen. On this journey confusion, anxiety and loneliness frequently made me exhausted. However, when I reflected on these experiences I found that a light was illuminating my way. Adopting a multi-paradigmatic research approach, I shifted from one epistemology to another in appropriate ways. By means of critical self-reflection within a philosophical auto/ethnography I tried to construct a coherent understanding of the issues. I found the importance of listening when seeking understanding in differences, which allowed me to conceive of an integrative ethics perspective, with critical inclusivity as the quality standard. Drawing on a critical narrative inquiry method this thesis represents the story of my transformative learning experience.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Supervisor(s): Taylor, Peter and Ledger, Susan
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