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“Mathematics is bad for society”: Reasoning about mathematics as part of society in a language diverse middle school classroom
Malmö University, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Natural Science, Mathematics and Society (NMS). Malmö University, Disciplinary literacy and inclusive teaching.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9610-3682
Malmö University, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Natural Science, Mathematics and Society (NMS).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1897-7322
Malmö University, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Natural Science, Mathematics and Society (NMS).
2021 (English)In: Applying Critical Mathematics Education / [ed] Annica Andersson; Richard Barwell, Brill Academic Publishers, 2021, p. 144-165Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this chapter, we report on a small-scale critical mathematics education project in a Swedish classroom with students of varied language backgrounds. The project departed from the student Arvid’s statement “Mathematics is bad for society.” Our research interest was twofold. On the one hand, we wanted to explore what knowledge is being (re)produced by students as they try to connect and reason with a statement like “Mathematics is bad for society.” And on the other hand, we were also interested in how the students in this classroom, in which they do not have shared mother tongues, can express and (dis)acknowledge knowledge when reasoning about mathematics in society. We found that when the students (and their teacher) grappled with unpacking critical aspects such as “mathematics in society,” their reciprocal assessment of claims was based on their individual ways of knowing and talking, and tended to shape both their actions and the outcome of their efforts. We show that the discussion around critical aspects of mathematics in society that came to the fore was intertwined with both students’ and the teacher’s (lack of) meta-understanding of language diversity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Brill Academic Publishers, 2021. p. 144-165
Series
New Directions in Mathematics and Science Education, ISSN 2352-7234 ; 35
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-17636DOI: 10.1163/9789004465800_007ISBN: 978-90-04-46542-8 (print)ISBN: 978-90-04-46541-1 (print)ISBN: 978-90-04-46580-0 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-17636DiVA, id: diva2:1450432
Available from: 2020-07-01 Created: 2020-07-01 Last updated: 2023-07-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Mathematics classroom talk in a migrating world: synthesizing epistemological dimensions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mathematics classroom talk in a migrating world: synthesizing epistemological dimensions
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis is an expedition into and beyond students’ mathematics talk in classrooms framed by migration as a matter of dichotomization betweennamed languages and (in)formal aspects of one fixed mathematics. It is an attempt to make sense of how students grapple with and move about thedivides that those dichotomizations shapes. I ask; How do students in a Grade 5 classroom framed by migration navigate language andepistemological divides when talking about mathematics? and What theoretical conceptualization of epistemological dimensions of languagediversity can be used to frame the students’ navigation of the divides?‘Navigation’ and ‘navigate’ are the metaphors I use for finding one’s way in spaces that do not have established paths to follow. In this thesisepistemological divides articulate difference when individuals and/or cultures take and treat something as mathematical knowledge. They emergewhen people do and talk about mathematics. My focus is not primarily on how students learn mathematics through their navigation, but rather onhow the students inhabit the learn-ing space together—how they relate to each other—as they navigate.To grapple with the research questionsabove, to learn about multiple relational aspects of how students navigate language and epistemological divides when they talk about schoolmathematics, I have used a flexible research design in a multilingual, yet ‘Swedish-only’ Grade 5 (students aged 11) classroom in the south ofSweden. Theoretically I bring together a) linguistic inferentialism as an alternative to the representation paradigm, b) social interaction andecological approaches on knowledge to frame the relationship between language and c) mathematics in students’ talk in a classroom with a complexdiversity of languages and socio-economic backgrounds.Results show that when students in the Grade 5 class navigated language and epistemological divides they demonstrated solidarity andsometimes perform aggressive actions towards each other in their encounters with mathematical knowledge and language diversity. Theseperformances were theoretically conceptualized as meta-understanding of multilingualism (MULD) or lack of MULD. The performances areunderstood as connected to the mathematics based discursive spaces (MBDS) that emerged when the students discoursed.The present thesis contributes to the field by taking an ecology-based relational approach towards language and epistemology in order to providetools for considering students’ responsive translanguaging in multilingual classrooms with no shared languages (except the language of instruction).In addition, this thesis is the first to use inferentialism for ecology-based approaches on social epistemological issues of multilingualism inmathematics education research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Malmö university, 2019. p. 240
Series
Malmö Studies in Educational Sciences: Doctoral Dissertation Series, ISSN 1651-4513 ; 89
Keywords
Language diversity, multilingualism, epistemology, mathematics education, inferentialism, meta-understanding of language diversity
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-7559 (URN)10.24834/isbn.9789178770045 (DOI)30355 (Local ID)978-91-7877-004-5 (ISBN)978-91-7877-003-8 (ISBN)30355 (Archive number)30355 (OAI)
Note

Paper V is not included in the fulltext online

Available from: 2020-02-28 Created: 2020-02-28 Last updated: 2024-03-14Bibliographically approved

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Ryan, UlrikaAndersson, AnnicaChronaki, Anna

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