School Mathematics and Discourses of Inequity

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Abstract

This article explores factors influencing the teaching approaches of mathematics teachers new to the profession. I argue that the most significant influence on teaching approaches in England is the dominant discourse of school mathematics, which is affected in turn by recent changes in educational policy and the associated increase in performativity in schools. This discourse fosters teaching pedagogies and practices which are contrary to those promoted by most teacher educators and serve to reproduce alienation and inequities within mathematics classrooms. I make use of a series of semi-structured interviews, carried out with colleagues in a school in which I was teaching at the time, to inform this theoretical discussion. I conclude that the current discourse of school mathematics is open to change for the better but that this will only occur if teacher educators engage with experienced teachers of mathematics, particularly those acting as mentors to trainee teachers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-98
Number of pages15
Journal Wales Journal of Education
Volume16
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2013

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