Chères et chers collègues,

Vous trouverez ci-dessous un appel à communication pour un numéro spécial de la revue ESM, transmis à la demande d’Arthur Bakker, rédacteur en chef de Educational Studies in Mathematics.

N’hésitez pas à diffuser cet appel autour de vous aux personnes qui pourraient être intéressées.

Bien cordialement

Viviane Durand-Guerrier


Mathematics education in a time of crisis – a viral pandemic

A special issue of Educational Studies in Mathematics

Call for Papers


These are extraordinary times. The COVID-19 pandemic has captured the attention of the world’s people and their governments, and rapidly upended social and other systems. The isolation required by this crisis impacts education systems in particular, because typical schools centre on gatherings of people. The social and other system disruptions have driven many people to reflect on what is most important. The isolation has facilitated this reflection for some of us by giving us more alone time, and has drawn others of us into frantic action to address the challenges of rapid change—for example, school and university administrators, parents of young children who are confined to home, teachers pressed into alternate delivery on a moment’s notice, the sick and people caring for the sick, people suffering job losses or financial disaster.


A new special issue in Educational Studies in Mathematics (ESM) invites reflection on mathematics education in this time of crisis. Authors may wish to position this particular crisis in the context of other interrelated crises that grip our world, such as, climate change, human migration, the rise of xenophobic nationalism, and growing inequalities. However, we expect each paper to address the coronavirus pandemic to some extent. And, because we know that the pandemic is playing out differently in different parts of the world, we would ask each contributor to position their work in their local context.


We envision submissions of essays and empirical studies. For authors unfamiliar with the essay format, we invite them to peruse early ESM volumes that feature many of them. In these essays authors address the big questions related to mathematics education (e.g., the first ESM paper, by Freudenthal in 1968). Essays like these often include arguments based on literature, observations, and experience with mathematics teaching and learning with connections to other relevant contexts.


Papers in this special issue may include:

  • Reflective analysis of trends in research and how these trends relate to (foresee and reflect) global crises
  • Analysis of mathematical artefacts (statistics, models, interpretations) that have been shared by mainstream and social media.
  • Critical reflection on curriculum and how it prepares or fails to prepare society for this and other global crises (i.e., the politics of the crisis and the role of mathematics education in this politics)
  • Proposals for change in mathematics pedagogy that would equip society better for this and other global crises.
  • Consideration of different approaches to teaching mathematics – perhaps including the use of online resources, and/or mathematics learning that is not school based, and the unequal access to technology.
  • Analysis of socio-cultural and economic disparity and how it impacts the changes in mathematics education within this crisis—including perhaps access to education through online and/or other communication channels, and a pluralistic understanding of the crisis itself (e.g., through a critical approach to the crisis and its societal implications).
  • Reflective analysis of mathematics education as a research community—the nature of academic interaction and community building (with travel and other forms of connection), and the value of such exchanges to scholars in different regions and different stages of their careers.

These are some examples that come to mind, but we will be open to others, including a wide possibility for relevant empirical studies.


We aim for geographic distribution of papers and so we invite contributions from all regions, and contributions that feature conversation across regions. We aim for papers representing the range of experience too – from scholars with vast experience to new scholars with new perspectives. If you know of someone whom you would like to see contributing to this special issue, please forward this call to them.


Submissions may be full length ESM papers (7000 words not including references, tables, figures, etc.) or shorter (e.g., 5000 words). There will be good opportunity for revision with feedback from other contributors to the special issue (the first round of review), so do not be afraid to take risks. After the first revision, your paper will go out to full ESM review. If your paper will take longer to write (e.g., an empirical paper), please email the special issue editors with your intent to participate as an author or reviewer. The timeline may accommodate later submissions.


If you have questions about this invitation, or if you want to pitch your initial ideas for feedback, please email one or all of the guest editors. We encourage authors to be in communication with us at any point through this process.



  1. May 31, 2020: First full papers due
  2. June 30: Feedback and reviews from other contributors.
  3. July 15: Decision letters and feedback distributed to authors
  4. August 30: Revised papers due
  5. October: Full ESM review begins
  6. We will publish accepted papers online immediately. When all the papers are ready, the special issue will be put together in its own issue, likely 2021.


We are aware that the progress of the virus of associated societal change is unpredictable. However, we note that the impact of this pandemic will take years to settle. We know that it is reasonable to reflect on the big questions of mathematics education now. An introduction to the special issue will make the positioning of the special issue clear, and we will ask authors to position their own papers in terms of the current knowledge that is relevant to their papers.

Special issue guest editors,

Man Ching Esther Chan, Cristina Sabena and David Wagner