Educational Studies in Mathematics

, Volume 96, Issue 3, pp 349–365 | Cite as

History of mathematics in secondary school teachers’ training: towards a nonviolent mathematics education



In the context of mathematics teachers’ training, the concept of dépaysement épistémologique (epistemological disorientation) emphasizes that the contact with the history of mathematics, particularly with the use of original sources, pushes aside commonplace students’ perspectives about the discipline and offers them a critical look towards mathematics’s historical, social and cultural aspects. Conceptually supported by the theory of objectivation, an emergent sociocultural theory in mathematics education, this study describes the dépaysement épistémologique lived by future mathematics teachers engaged in the reading of historical texts. A phenomenological approach allowed us to clarify various meanings associated with students’ lived experiences and a dialogical perspective provides a way to get these meanings in tension through a polyphonic narration. Our reading of this polyphonic narration suggests that dépaysement épistémologique associated with the reading of historical texts encouraged empathy from students towards the authors and their future learners, opening up the possibility for a nonviolent mathematics education.


History of mathematics Mathematics teachers’ training Readings of historical texts dépaysement épistémologique Phenomenological approach Polyphonic narration 



We would like to acknowledge Mariama Mary Fall, Tasha Ausman and Richard Barwell for the revision of this text.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculté d’éducationUniversité d’OttawaOttawaCanada

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