Om Opening the Research Text
In this chapter we interrogate the debate between mathematicians and mathematics educators. This debate is widely recognized in the United States, for instance, where the term 'math wars' is often used in reference to the heated disagreements between mathematicians and mathematics edu- tors. Such recognition might suggest that this topic itself has relevance both for the academy and for educational policy pertaining to mathematics edu- tion. We propose to locate this debate, unavoidably, whenever and wherever mathematics education is written. Our aim is to show how the debate itself gives rise to the inscription mathematics education. Indeed, we contend that 'mathematics education' cannot be defined outside of, or prior to, the debate, for it is precisely through the debate that it is constituted as a domain for 1 deliberation. The debate is more primordial than any episteme or domain implied by it. In other words, we argue that mathematics and mathematics education do not exist epistemically prior to the debate. In order to engage this issue we consider a transcription of a panel debate 2 between mathematicians and mathematics educators held in Brazil in 1998 . There is at least a double meaning for the word 'debate': it may mean a meeting having a beginning and an end, well-localized in space and time and with a specific proposal or focus, as in the following sentence 'I am going to see on TV the debate between Bush and Blair tomorrow at 5 pm'.