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The phenomenology of the mathematics classroom

Brown, Tony (1996) The phenomenology of the mathematics classroom. ISSN 1573-0816

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Abstract

This paper describes the mathematics classroom from the perspective of social phenomenology. Here the classroom is seen as an environment of signs, comprising things and people, which impinge on the reality of the individual child. The paper introduces a framework through which mathematical work is seen as taking place in the imagined world through the filter of the world in immediate perception. This provides an approach to structuring evolving mathematical understanding. It is suggested that mathematical ideas are contained and shaped by the child's personal phenomenology, which evolves through time. Further, I argue these ideas are never encountered directly but rather are met through a circular hermeneutic process of reconciling expectation with experience.

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