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Faculty of Education - Professorial Lecture Series

Adding or Taking Away:
how "Doing Mathematics" defines us.

With Professor Yvette Solomon

22 May 2013

Yvette Solomon is Professor of Education for the University’s Education and Social Research Institute. She co-leads the Centre for Research in Mathematics and Science Education with Tony Brown.

Many of us, even after our school years are long gone, are quick to define ourselves in terms of whether we can or cannot ‘do maths’. Why is this? Does mathematics somehow have a greater power to do this than other subjects?

As learners we develop complex relationships with school subjects which build on experiences both inside and outside the classroom. Beginning with a focus on the primary school years, and then moving on to secondary school and undergraduate learners, this talk will examine the role of classroom interaction patterns, gender discourses, and popular culture in the development of learner identities in mathematics.

Using a variety of data, it discusses how research can understand the nature of school trajectories and perhaps influence practice in ways which might interrupt the development of a widespread negativity towards mathematics.