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Mathematicians as Enquirers : Learning about Learning Mathematics - Prof. Leone Burton

Mathematicians as Enquirers

Learning about Learning Mathematics


Published: 26th May 2004
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It is amazing that the usual reply to being introduced to a mathematician is a stumbling apology about how bad someone is at mathematics, no matter how good they may be in reality. The problem is that we have come to view mathematics as an arcane branch of knowledge that only a few can aspire to understand or grasp. The sense of separation between those who have the knowledge and those who do not, is present even amongst academics where many of the same skills and research practices exist - intuition, the use of symbolic structures and the use of intuition and insight. The more worrying aspect of this separation is the ever declining numbers of students choosing mathematics as part of their curriculum beyond the stage when it is mandatory. Even worse, it would seem that the mathematics community has created a discriminatory environment that deters many students from continuing beyond secondary and tertiary education. Exit interviews with graduates show a stark rejection of their previously chosen subject. What about mathematicians themselves - how do they see themselves? Do male and female mathematicians come to know their mathematics in different ways, do they tackle different problems with varying results for their status in the research community? Does the pervasive labelling that mathematics is a male domain arise because of a lack of role models for women or through its highly competitive, hierarchical nature? Are the negative labels often associated with mathematics, i. e.

List of tables
Why this book?p. 1
A model of how mathematicians come to know : creating, theorising, researchingp. 11
Who were these mathematicians?p. 33
How do mathematicians think about mathematics?p. 53
Aesthetics, intuition/insight and the feelings associated with mathematicsp. 63
Meet the mathematiciansp. 91
Mathematicians' practices : finding the problems, collaborating/cooperating and competingp. 127
Writing for publicationp. 139
Strangers in paradise? : the construction of mathematics as a male community of practicep. 155
What does it mean to be a mathematical enquirer? : learning as researchp. 177
Outline of interview topicsp. 205
Questions submitted to the participants in advance of the interviewp. 207
Mathematicians writingp. 209
App. D : Tree diagram of NUD.IST analytical categoriesp. 235
Referencesp. 241
Indexp. 243
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781402078590
ISBN-10: 1402078595
Series: Mathematics Education Library
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 257
Published: 26th May 2004
Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.42 x 15.44  x 1.68
Weight (kg): 0.46