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'I'm not a “maths-person”!': Reconstituting mathematical subjectivities in a esthetic teaching practices
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2009 (English)In: Gender and Education, ISSN 0954-0253, E-ISSN 1360-0516, Vol. 21, no 4, 387-404 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this study I have investigated how alternative ways of teaching mathematics influence and affect Early Childhood Education (ECE) students’ attitudes towards maths and how they understand their own subjectivities as more or less mathematical during a 10-week alternative maths course. The investigated course adopts a feminist post-structural approach based on critical pedagogy and deconstructive theory and includes an interdisciplinary approach to investigative mathematics. The data used include the memory/narrative writings and processwritings of 75 female teacher-education students, collected from three different cohorts, in which the students describe their learning processes throughout the maths course. The study shows that, in the main, the students became much more positively inclined to the subject of mathematics after the maths course and agreed that this course had changed their understanding of their own mathematical subjectivity, albeit in different and varying ways.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge , 2009. Vol. 21, no 4, 387-404 p.
Keyword [en]
aesthetics, deconstruction, gender, mathematics, memories
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-39173DOI: 10.1080/09540250802467950ISI: 000268185800003OAI: diva2:318971
MIG-projektet (Matematik, identitet, genus)
Available from: 2010-05-12 Created: 2010-05-12 Last updated: 2010-05-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Att bli matematisk: Matematisk subjektivitet och genus i lärarutbildningen för de yngre åldrarna
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Att bli matematisk: Matematisk subjektivitet och genus i lärarutbildningen för de yngre åldrarna
2010 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Becoming Mathematical : Mathematical Subjectivity and Gender in Early Childhood Teacher Education
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to investigate the processes through which mathematical and gendered subjectivity is constituted, reconstituted and maintained in different situations during Early Childhood Teacher Education (ECE). In three research articles it is investigated how student teachers’ subjectivity constitutions are expressed, formulated and reformulated in different discursive and material practices. With the support of feminist poststructural theories, student teachers’ subjectification processes are investigated in relation to the subject of mathematics, gender, different learning and teaching discourses, materials and environments. During the course of the work a theoretical transit is carried out: from Judith Butler’s theories (1990, 1993 and 1997) to Karen Barad’s (2007, 2008) theoretical territory. The empirical data was collected from three cohorts (2005-2007) of a ten-week long mathematics course included in a one-year ECE course called Investigative Pedagogy – Dialogue Reggio Emilia. Examples of the data include memory stories written by student teachers, pedagogical documentation from different mathematics projects, field notes from action research studies in ECE education, survey results and students’ reports. Methodologically, in relation to the first and second articles the thesis works with feminist discourse analysis, deconstructive and performative methodology and in relation to the third article with diffractive and intra-active methodology. The results show examples of how student teachers constitute mathematical subjectivity through complex networks of social relations, learning discourses, gender, material practices, time, space and place. Taking part in alternative, aesthetic interdisciplinary learning practices changes the understanding of student teachers’ mathematical subjectivity, although not always in predictable or uncomplicated ways. In the shift from a discursive and performative way of understanding mathematical subjectivity to an agentic realistic one, the understanding of mathematical subjectivity is widened to include things, materials and environments. This shift implies a decisive meaning for how pedagogical practices can be viewed and, in the long run, how mathematics didactics can be approached for student teachers and young children alike.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Pedagogiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet, 2010. 115 p.
Doktorsavhandlingar från Pedagogiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet, ISSN 1104-1625 ; 167
subjectivity, gender, mathematics, teacher education, performativity, materialisation, agential realism, intra-activity, aesthetic and interdisciplinary learning processes
National Category
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-39233 (URN)ISBN 978-91-7447-084-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-06-11, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished  and had a status as follows: Paper 1: In press. Paper 3: Submitted.Available from: 2010-05-20 Created: 2010-05-13 Last updated: 2010-06-15Bibliographically approved

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Palmer, Anna
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