Rethinking Mathematical Affect as Emotion

When we approach the problem of the interrelation between thought and language and other aspects of the mind, the first question that arises is that of intellect and affect. Their separation as subjects of study is a major weakness of traditional psychology. In this chapter, I broaden the earlier discussion of affect and mathematics. In Chapter 4, affect in general, and mathematics anxiety in particular, were considered as relatively stable characteristics of an individual, able to have an...

Model C Approaches Informed by Psychoanalysis

A number of researchers have studied affect around mathematics, using psychoanalytic approaches. These approaches start from the Freudian position that affect can be thought of as a 'charge' attached to particular ideas. Ideas which have strong negative charges, such as anxiety, or which mobilise intrapsychic conflict, tend to meet defences, and to be pushed into the unconscious, through the operation of repression, one of the defence mechanisms. Therefore, much thought and activity takes place...

Themes or Foreshadowed Problems

Ten themes or foreshadowed problems have been formulated on the basis described in the previous two chapters. Theme (1) Contexts of Thinking Ascribed in Terms of Positioning in Practices In the last two chapters, I have developed my alternative way of understanding the context of mathematical thinking, namely, that the context is constituted by the discursive practice(s) in which subjects have their positioning. Developing earlier work, I explore how, in a specific situation such as...

Survey and Modelling Results Mathematics Anxiety and Performance

Research question 7 concerns the relationship between performance and mathematics anxiety. In general I expected negative correlations between the two dimensions of performance and the two dimensions of mathematics anxiety. More precisely, on the basis of my ideas of context, I expected a higher correlation for school mathematics performance with maths test course anxiety (than with numerical anxiety), and a higher correlation for practical maths performance with numerical anxiety (than with...

Affect and Mathematics Anxiety

Question What do you dread as you open your eyes in the morning Answer That I'm still at school and it's double maths. (Shona MacDonald, 26, promotions manager, in City Limits, 23-30 May 1991) The importance of affective factors in education generally, and in the learning of mathematics in particular, is reasserted periodically. In the 1970s and 1980s, the need to enhance females' participation and performance in mathematics generated interest in affect and attitudes towards mathematics, and...

The Turn to Language Structuralist and Poststructuralist Approaches

For an indication of how a concern with language might help clarify the idea of boundaries between practices, we can turn to structuralist approaches, and their characterisation of context. Muller and Taylor (1995) draw on Basil Bernstein's (for example 1996) general sociological discussion of types of knowledge and boundaries between knowledges, where different knowledges are seen as different discourses, based on different 'codes' of language. Discourses and Boundaries Basil Bernstein...

Range of Views on the Meanings of Context and the Possibilities of Transfer

In Chapter 2, I discussed two sets of understandings of the context of mathematical thinking. What I called proficiency approaches include behaviourists favouring the use of learning objectives (for example, Glenn 1978), and those emphasising 'numerical skills' (such as Numeracy Task Force 1998). I contrasted these in several ways with functional views (such as the Cockcroft Report 1982). However, despite some differences in emphasis, these two sets of approaches share several important ideas....

Bibliography

Abreu, G. and Carraher, D. (1989) 'The Mathematics of Brazilian Sugar Cane Farmers', in Keitel, C., Damerow, P., Bishop, A. and Gerdes, P. (eds), Mathematics, Education and Society, Reports and Papers presented in Fifth Day Special Programme at the 6th International Conference on Mathematics Education, Budapest, 1988, Paris UNESCO, Science and Technology Education Document Series no. 35 68-70. Adda, J. (1986) 'Fight against Academic Failure in Mathematics', in Damerow, P., Dunkley, M. E.,...

Conceptions of Practical Mathematics and the Context

The aim of emphasising practical applications of school mathematics raises the question of what is different about non-school contexts. Until the early 1980s, the exploration of 'context' in mathematics education seems to have been confined to describing the effect on performance of variations in the wording and format of word-problems and logical exercises (for example, Wason's 'selection problem') at school see Bell et al. (1983). However, context has recently been discussed in a much more...

Info

Carraher, D. (1991) 'Mathematics in and out of School A Selective Review of Studies from Brazil', in Harris, M. (ed.), Schools, Mathematics and Work, Basingstoke Falmer, ch. 16. Carraher, D. and Schliemann, A. (1998) 'The Transfer Dilemma', paper presented at the symposium 'If Not Transfer, Then What ', AERA Annual Meeting, San Diego. Carraher, T. N. (1986) 'From Drawings to Buildings Working with Mathematical Scales', International Journal of Behavioural Development 9 527-44. -(1988) 'Street...