Mentors expressing what they value through their writings: Emphasizing the person in mathematics

Wee Tiong SEAH, Qiaoping ZHANG, Alan J. BISHOP

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

Abstract

Purpose: This article identifies an issue in mathematics education, that is, the perceived lack of emphasis in recent times of the roles that the "person" plays in the development of mathematics. The purpose is to examine how the values/valuing might contribute to addressing the issue.

Design/Approach/Methods: "Data" were collected from several purposeful conversations among the three authors. The conversations were audio-recorded and machine-transcribed. The transcript was then subjected to content analysis to identify themes.

Findings: The data analysis yielded two novel approaches to raising learners' awareness of the humanness of mathematics. One would be to reframe the values that are operationalized when mathematics is taught and learnt, as processes of valuing which teachers and students engage in, respectively. The second approach would be to acknowledge that writers of mathematics/mathematicians are not simply presenting knowledge but are also acting as mentors conveying and transmitting messages about the discipline.

Originality/Value: The involvement of the "person" in the development of mathematics is not new knowledge, though it can be made more visible in mathematics education. This article identifies two approaches—valuing and mentoring—which are novel in that they are already part of the pedagogical process and thus, accessible. Copyright © 2020 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
JournalECNU Review of Education
Early online dateJun 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jun 2020

Citation

Seah, W. T., Zhang, Q., & Bishop, A. J. (2020). Mentors expressing what they value through their writings: Emphasizing the person in mathematics. ECNU Review of Education. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/2096531120932173

Keywords

  • Mathematics
  • Mentoring
  • Values
  • Valuing

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