Spoken Mathematical Classroom Culture: Artifice and Artificiality

Part of the Mathematics Education Library book series (MELI, volume 14)


One major component of an educational researcher’s task is to document and understand the world of schools, teaching and learning: in the case of mathematics education researchers, that of mathematics classrooms. Using metaphors is one way of undertaking this complex task. For instance, at the most general level, when looking at discourse generated about teaching, both academically and popularly, a number of such metaphors can be seen at work, each with its own imagery and accompanying rhetoric. Examples include seeing teaching as gardening (kindergarten, growth, nurturing, but what about weeds?), as doctoring (remediation, diagnosis, prescription, but misconception as illness?), as coaching (basic skills, exercises, repetition, competition and performance) and as acting (classroom roles, stage-managing events, teacher as director or actor, pupils as actors or ‘audience’).


Mathematics Education Discourse Analysis Mathematics Lesson Communicative Competence Teaching Discourse 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ainley, J.: 1987, Telling Questions. Mathematics Teaching, 118, pp. 24–26.Google Scholar
  2. Ainley, J.: 1988, Perceptions of teachers’ questioning styles. Proceedings of the Twelfth Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education Veszprem, Hungary, pp. 92–9.Google Scholar
  3. ATM: 1980, A Boolean Anthology. Derby: Association of Teachers of Mathematics.Google Scholar
  4. Belenky, M., Clinchy, B., Goldberger, N. and Taroule, J.: 1986, Womens’ Ways of Knowing: The Development of Self Voice and Mind. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  5. Brown, L.: 1991, Stewing in your own juice. In Pimm, D. and Love, E. (Eds.) Teaching and Learning School Mathematics. Sevenoaks: Hodder and Stoughton, pp. 3–15.Google Scholar
  6. Brown, S.: 1981, Sharon’s Kye. Mathematics Teaching, 94, pp. 11–17.Google Scholar
  7. Clarke, R.: 1988, Gestalt therapy, educational processes and personal development. In Pimm D. (Ed.) Mathematics, Teachers and Children. Sevenoaks: Hodder and Stoughton, pp. 170–182.Google Scholar
  8. Cross, A.: 1991, The Players Come Again. New York: Ballantine.Google Scholar
  9. Edwards, D. and Mercer, N.: 1988 Common Knowledge. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  10. Garfinkel, H. and Sacks, H.: 1970, On formal structures of practical action. In McKinney, C. and Tiryakian, E. (Eds.), Theoretical Sociology. New York: Appleton Century Crofts, pp. 337–366.Google Scholar
  11. Jaworski, B.: 1985, A poster lesson. Mathematics Teaching, 113, pp. 4–5.Google Scholar
  12. Jaworski, B.: 1991, Interpretations of a Constructivist Philosophy in Mathematics Teaching Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham, Birmingham.Google Scholar
  13. Kaufman, B.: 1964, Up the Down Staircase. New York: Avon.Google Scholar
  14. Lakoff, G and Johnson M.: 1980, Metaphors we live by Chicago:University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  15. Mason, J.: 1988 What to Do When You are Stuck. (ME234 Using Mathematical Thinking, Unit 3 ). Milton Keynes, The Open University.Google Scholar
  16. Pimm, D.: 1987, Speaking Mathematically: Communication in Mathematics Classrooms. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. Pimm, D.: 1992, ‘Why are we doing this?’ Reporting back on mathematical investigations. In D. Sawada (Ed.), Communication in Learning Mathematics. MCATA: Edmonton, Alberta.Google Scholar
  18. Scott-Hodgetts, R.: 1992, Learning Mathematics: Pupil Perspectives. (Monograph L, EM236 Learning and Teaching Mathematics). Milton Keynes: The Open University.Google Scholar
  19. Sinclair, J. and Coulthard, M.: 1975, Towards an Analysis of Discourse. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Smith, J.: 1986, Questioning questioning. Mathematics Teaching, 115, p. 47.Google Scholar
  21. Spivak, G. C.: 1988, Can the subaltern speak? In Nelson, C. and Grossberg, L. (Eds.) Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, pp. 271–313.Google Scholar
  22. Stubbs, M.: 1975, Organizing classroom talk. Occasional paper 19, Centre for Research in the Educational Sciences, University of Edinburgh.Google Scholar
  23. Stubbs, M.: 1980, Language and Literacy. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  24. Stubbs, M.: 1983, Language, Schools and Classrooms. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  25. Tahta, D.: 1991, Understanding and desire. In Pimm, D. and Love, E., (Eds.) Teaching and Learning School Mathematics. Sevenoaks: Hodder and Stoughton, pp. 220–246.Google Scholar
  26. Walkerdine, V.: 1988, The Mastery of Reason. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  27. Walkerdine, V.: 1990, Difference, cognition and mathematics education. For the Learning of Mathematics, 10 (3), pp. 51–6.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Mathematics EducationThe Open UniversityWalton Hall, Milton Keynes, BucksUK

Personalised recommendations