|Editor||A. Ross, Learning for Democratic Europe|
Subjects such as History, German and Geography all have explicit objectives concerning political, civic or citizenship education in the curricula. Mathematics is not normally considered a subject that is concerned with such aims, but it nevertheless offers opportunities for introducing a European dimension in an unusual way by integrating it into the choice of examples used in mathematical exercises. The context of an exercise is not usually questioned but may be just as opinion-forming as a political discussion or the provision of information. Sociological research into school mathematics textbooks has attempted for some time to document what images of society, family and women are contained in the texts. It has been discovered that mathematical examples in schoolbooks are sometimes used in a very unreflective way which reinforces political and social messages or stereotypes, e.g.: father = office; mother = kitchen; boys = sports; girls = dolls. However, these mechanisms could be used in a positive way to decrease prejudice or to increase knowledge about other countries, and may be an efficient way of developing a consciousness of European citizenship.