Seeing, hearing and feeling mathematics: learning from disabled students

This Centre for Research in Mathematics Education Seminar is presented by Lulu Healy, Universidade Anhanguera de São Paulo.

This seminar will explore the role of the body’s senses and perception in doing, learning and teaching mathematics by considering work in progress in the research programme “Towards an Inclusive Mathematics Education”, based in São Paulo, Brazil. The aims of this research programme are to:

  • investigate forms of accessing and expressing mathematics that respect the diverse needs of all our students
  • contribute to the development of teaching strategies which recognise this diversity
  • explore the relationships between sensory experience and mathematical knowledge

The studies involve interacting with students (with and without disabilities), teachers and future teachers in scenarios designed to enable multiple ways of representing mathematical objects, in order to appeal to different sensory canals, to the skin, to the ears and to the eyes. The seminar will bring examples of the mathematical practices of disabled students through which we might consider:

  • how mathematical cognition is both embodied and situated in the activities through which it occurs
  • how learning mathematics involves creating, as well as the appropriating, practices associated with the sets of artefacts that represent what we call mathematics
  • how to challenge the ableist assumptions that currently mediate our interpretations of mathematics learning and our practices as educators of mathematics

Free, all welcome. Register online.

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