Historical Review of the Theses Approved in the Venezuelan Master’s Degree Programmes in Mathematics Education (1974-2016)

Fredy Enrique González, Vanesa Pacheco Moros


Background: 1974 is the landmark of the launching of postgraduate studies in Venezuela and other Latin American countries. This research focuses on the master’s degree theses approved from 1974 to 2016 in the scope of the Venezuelan postgraduation programmes in mathematics education (PVMEM). Objective: Answer the following question: (a) How can we detail the foundation of the PVMEMs and how have they evolved until now? Design: We carried out a multiple case study of a particular nature, developing it into three phases: (a) Pre-Active, considering previous studies related to the subject; (b) Interactive, corresponding to the fieldwork: identification of two active PVMEMs and semi-structured interviews with the people linked to the programmes above, who can provide information of interest to the study; this phase was closed with the organisation of the textual and oral corpora, fundamental for the study; and (c) Post-Active, when we proceed to: analyse and interpret the collected, reduced and organised information; organise the results obtained and provide the answers to the guiding questions of the research. Data collection and analysis: We saw that seven universities in Venezuela hold master’s degree programmes in mathematics education. During the study period, 1,012 theses were approved, of which 973 (96.15%) were accepted; each thesis was coded to help locate it and, according to the interests of the study, the following aspects were considered: Author; Advisor; Qualification; Field, subjects, and objects; Paradigm/Methodical; Theories and Concepts. The oral corpus was submitted to narrative analysis, while a bibliometric analysis was conducted in the textual corpus. Results: (a) Regarding the details of the creation of postgraduate studies in mathematics education in Venezuela, we verified that on May 17, 1974, the PVMEM was created at the Caracas Pedagogical Institute, being also the first of the kind in Latin America; (b) Regarding the evolution of the Venezuelan master’s degree programmes in mathematics education in Venezuela, we verified that 20 years passed between the creation of the PVMEM at the Caracas Pedagogical Institute and the National Experimental University of Guayana. Since the mid-1990s, advisors and authors of theses have increased interest in addressing questions related to the processes of teaching and learning mathematics but incipient adoption of theories specific to the area of mathematics education. Conclusion: For future studies, we organised a textual corpus of the master’s degree theses approved by the PVMEMs between 1974 and 2016 to examine, identify the contributions with which they contributed to the Venezuelan scientific production in mathematics education, and recognise the trajectory of Venezuelan mathematics educators who, over time, achieved the status of scientific authority and developed academic genealogies.


Social history of mathematical education, Cultural capital, Master’s degree in mathematics education, Disciplinary frontiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17648/acta.scientiae.7571


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