Trends in researching the socioeconomic influences on mathematical achievement

Paola Valero, Tamsin Meaney

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


We introduce the topic of socioeconomic influences on mathematical achievement through an overview of existing research reports and articles. International trends in the way the topic has emerged and become increasingly important in the international field of mathematics education research are outlined. From this review, there is a discussion about what appears to be neglected in previous work in this area and how the papers in this issue of ZDM provide information about some of these neglected areas. The main argument in this article is that socioeconomic influences on mathematical achievement should not be considered as a taken-for-granted fact that is accepted uncritically. Instead, it is suggested that the relationship between multiple socioeconomic influences and various understandings of mathematical achievement are historically contingent ways of understanding exclusions and inclusions in mathematics education practices. Research is not simply “evidencing” the facts of these relationships; research is also implicated in constructing the ways in which we think about these. Thus, mathematics education researchers could devise more nuanced approaches for understanding the social, political and historical constitution of these relationships.
Original languageEnglish
JournalZDM - International Journal on Mathematics Education
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)977-986
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2014


  • Socioeconomic status
  • Intersectionality of positionings
  • Statistical reifications
  • Macro-systemic perspective
  • History of mathematics education practices

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