PhD studentship: Global Citizenship Mathematics Education

The following PhD studentship opportunity may be of interest!

ESRC-SGSSS PhD studentship

Global Citizenship Mathematics Education: exploring controversial global issues through mathematics learning in Scottish schools

Teachers’ perceptions of mathematics education are informed by their view of the nature of mathematics. The perception that mathematics is neutral and apolitical is dominant world-wide, informing teachers’ practices, including in Scotland. These attitudes may underpin teachers’ reluctance to consider the role which mathematics and mathematics education plays in issues of social and ecological justice in ‘glocal’ contexts. Bringing global citizenship education (GCE) to mathematics education is a teaching requirement of Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence.

The Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Stirling is seeking applicants for a full-time PhD studentship (1+3; +3) to begin in the 2018/2019 academic year.

This studentship is part-funded by the Scottish Graduate School of Social Sciences (SGSSS), and the Scottish Development Education Centre, (SCOTDEC). The studentship provides full fees (at UK/EU rates), along with a living allowance and a training grant (at ESRC rates). Applications from overseas candidates will be considered, with the caveat that the difference between home/EU and overseas will be deducted from the stipend.

The study will be supervised by University of Stirling’s Dr Dalene Swanson.

It will be further supported by Ms Charlotte Dwyer and other colleagues at SCOTDEC, Scotland’s Development Education Centre.

This collaborative PhD studentship, working in partnership with the Scottish Development Education Centre (SCOTDEC), will support a PhD student to undertake research into:

1. Scottish secondary mathematics teachers’ changing perceptions of the political responsibility that mathematics (education) can have to global challenges and controversial glocal issues;
2. Scottish mathematics teachers’ changing practices in bringing global citizenship (GC) issues, especially of a sensitive nature, to secondary school mathematics;
3. forefronting inclusive practices as a global citizenship concern, and enhance a rights-based approach to teaching mathematics education through a GC approach; and
4. assessing whether global citizenship mathematics education around controversial issues assists in motivating and engaging pupils and provides more positive learning experiences and outcomes for pupils.

While this research will be based in central Scotland and is distinctive in that it focuses on mathematics education, inclusion, participation and engagement specifically, this research feeds into a related European Commission funded project that has recently begun, Global Issues – Global Subjects, in which SCOTDEC is participating and in collaboration with secondary schools in 10 EU states. A participatory and collaborative approach would be applied in working with Scottish teachers to develop GC mathematics education materials, training teachers in GC related to controversial issues through mathematics education. This would also include collaborative and participatory inquiry-based ways of changing practices, including towards more inclusive practices in mathematics education.


The studentship is open to applicants with a Masters level qualification in a social science or related discipline, where the Master’s qualification contains a substantial component of core research skills training (or equivalent experience in using research methods). A background in Mathematics Education is essential, preferably with a BSc in Mathematics or closely allied discipline, and experience in mathematics classrooms at the secondary level is highly desirable.

How to apply

Applicants are required to complete the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form and additionally provide a CV, a transcript of a Master’s degree, and a sample of academic writing, of up to 12 pages maximum. We also invite applicants to provide a personal statement (maximum length two sides of A4). In preparing this statement, you are encouraged to review the project summary above and illustrate:

1. how your background and research expertise can contribute to the project; and

2. how you might further shape this proposal into your own doctoral study.

Interested applications should be sent to Dr Dalene Swanson ( by Monday 24 May 2018 at 24:00 GMT.


The Scottish Mathematical Council © 2014-2019. The SMC is a charitable body, registered in Scotland with number SC046876. Tha Comhairle Matamataig na h-Alba na carthannas, clàraichte ann an Alba, Àireamh SC046876. Frontier Theme