Speaker: Rachel Helme (University of Bristol)
Abstract: For students who are labelled as low attaining in mathematics, the interpretation of their mathematical identity work, that is the way they talk, act, and be in relation to mathematics (Bishop, 2012), can be devoid of the voice of the student themselves. Students often do not get the opportunity to speak about their own experiences of learning mathematics and as a result any possible counter narratives to dominant discourses can be missed.
In this seminar, I will share the findings from a project that sought to foreground the marginalised voices of students, reflecting both on self-positioning and positioning by the teacher within the student’s identity work. Based in a post-16 college and focusing on one resit mathematics student called Claire (a pseudonym) and her teacher, and working remotely because of Covid-19, the project traced the voices of both participants from December 2020 to June of 2021. I will show how an extension of the use of ‘pronoun poems’ within the Listening Guide (Gilligan, Spencer, Weinberg, & Bertsch, 2006) allowed me to engage with the lived experience stories of and as mathematical identity work. The seminar will conclude by reflecting on the patterns that emerged as the voices of Claire and her teacher were analysed and shared over the academic year. This seminar will be of interest to you if you are curious about creative ways to listen to student voice and/or understanding the lived experience of students who are labelled as low attaining, or maybe even just enjoy poetry. There might even be the first reading of a new poem!