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Abstract / Synopsis

A steward of the discipline was originally defined as an individual to whom “we can entrust the vigor, quality, and integrity of the field”, and more specifically, as “someone who will creatively generate new knowledge, critically conserve valuable and useful ideas, and responsibly transform those understandings through writing, teaching, and application” [8]. Originally articulated for doctoral education, in 2019 the construct of stewardship was expanded so that it can also be applied to non-academic practitioners in any field, and can be initiated earlier than doctoral education [18]. In this paper, we apply this construct to the context of mathematics, and argue that even for those early in their training in mathematics, stewardly practice of mathematics can be introduced and practiced. Postsecondary and tertiary education in mathematics — for future mathematicians as well as those who will use math at work — can include curriculum-spanning training, and documented achievement in stewardship. Even before a formal ethical practice standard for mathematics is developed and deployed to help inculcate math students with a “tacit responsibility for the quality and integrity of their own work”, higher education can begin to shape student attitudes towards stewardly professional identities. Learning objectives to accomplish this are described, to assist math instructors in facilitating the recognition and acceptance of responsibility for the quality and integrity of their own work and that of colleagues in the practice of mathematics.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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