Mathematical Relationships in Education: Identities and Participation (Paperback) book cover

Mathematical Relationships in Education

Identities and Participation

Edited by Laura Black, Heather Mendick, Yvette Solomon

© 2009 – Routledge

252 pages | 8 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780415649957
pub: 2012-07-27
Hardback: 9780415996846
pub: 2009-06-05
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pub: 2011-01-13
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About the Book

This book brings together scholars working in the field of mathematics education to examine the ways in which learners form particular relationships with mathematics in the context of formal schooling. While demand for the mathematically literate citizen increases, many learners continue to reject mathematics and experience it as excluding and exclusive, even when they succeed at it. In exploring this phenomenon, this volume focuses on learners' developing sense of self and their understanding of the part played by mathematics in it. It recognizes the part played by emotional responses, the functioning of classroom communities of practice, and by discourses of mathematics education in this process. It thus blends perspectives from psychoanalysis, socio-cultural theory and discursive approaches in a focus on the classic issues of selection and assessment, pedagogy, curriculum, choice, and teacher development.


"…the theoretical notions put to use in this book have the potential to be extremely powerful in unearthing the kinds of relationships that learners, across cultures and locations, might form with mathematics. The book is a timely intervention precisely because we are only now beginning to appreciate that issues to relating to learners’ relationships with mathematics are among the most complex and challenging facing us today."--Journal for Research in Mathematics Education

"This book is the result of a seminar series entitled "Mathematical relationships: identities and participation" held in the UK some years ago. The six seminars brought together a number of researchers and practitioners working in the areas of mathematics education. A wide body of research indicates that mathematics can be made more accessible in classrooms which encourage exploration, negotiation, and ownership of knowledge and their corresponding identity shifts. Thus has implication for teacher development, but also requires recognition that teachers own mathematical identities."–Valentina Dagiene

Table of Contents

1. Introduction Part 1: Selection and Assessment 2. Disabling Numbers: On the Secret Charm of Numberese and Why It Should Be Resisted Anna Sfard 3. Pain, Pleasure and Power: Selecting and Assessing Defended Subjects Laura Black, Heather Mendick, Melissa Rodd and Yvette Solomon with Margaret Brown 4. Mathematical ‘Ability’ and Identity: A Socio-Cultural Perspective on Assessment and Selection Jeremy Hodgen and Rachel Marks Part 2: Choice 5. Telling Stories about Mathematics Mark Boylan and Hilary Povey 6. Choice: Parents, Teachers, Children and Ability Grouping in Mathematics Peter Winbourne 7. Special Cases: Neoliberalism, Choice and Mathematics Heather Mendick, Marie-Pierre Moreau and Debbie Epstein Part 3: Curriculum 8. Appetite and Anxiety: The Mathematics Curriculum and its Hidden Meanings Jenny Shaw 9. Questioning the Mathematics Curriculum: A Discursive Approach Candia Morgan 10. The Role of Textbooks in the ‘Figured Worlds’ of English, French and German Classrooms – A Comparative Perspective Birgit Pepin Part 4: Pedagogy 11. How Do Pedagogic Practices Impact on Learner Identities in Mathematics? A Psychoanalytically Framed Response Tamara Bibby 12. Hybridity of Maths and Peer Talk: Crazy Maths Pauline Davis and Julian Williams 13. Pedagogy, Discourse and Identity Stephen Lerman Part 5: Teacher Development 14. Mathematics For Teaching: What Makes Us Want To? Pat Drake 15. Developing Mathematics Teaching Through Collaborative Inquiry Barbara Jaworski 16. What Does a Discourse Oriented Examination Have To Offer Teacher Development? The Problem with Primary Mathematics Teachers Tansy Hardy Part 6: Endings 17. Identity in Mathematics: Perspectives on Identity, Relationships and Participation Patricia George 18. Participating in Identities and Relationships in Mathematics Education. Paola Valero. Contributors. References. Index.

About the Editors

Laura Black is a lecturer at the University of Manchester. Her research interests focus on pedagogic processes in the classroom and the construction of learner identities particularly in relation to mathematics. She is currently working on several projects on widening participation in mathematically demanding programmes within post compulsory education.

Heather Mendick is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Education, London Metropolitan University, and lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London. In her research, she works across education, gender studies, sociology and cultural studies and is particularly interested in influences of popular culture on identities and aspirations. She used to be a mathematics teacher.

Yvette Solomon is Professor of Education at the Education and Social Research Institute at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her research focuses on the nature of relationships between language, learning and mathematical knowledge, and between identity, participation and community experience. She is the author of The Practice of Mathematics, and of Mathematical Literacy, both published by Routledge.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Education

This series aims to present the latest research from right across the field of education. It is not confined to any particular area or school of thought and seeks to provide coverage of a broad range of topics, theories and issues from around the world.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Educational Psychology
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Mathematics