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Children Count

Exploring What is Possible in a Classroom with Mathematics and Children

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Mary M. Stordy

Children Count is an interpretive exploration into the teaching of mathematics to children. Through the use of narratives to make meaning of particular pedagogic events, the book explores the possibilities that exist for children and for teachers if mathematics is allowed to thrive in schools as a living human enterprise. Such a re-conceptualized view of mathematics challenges the status quo and results in a different image of schooling. Children Count gives the reader a picture of what a classroom could look like when it includes creativity, inquiry-based learning, empowerment of children and teachers, academic rigor, holism, and integrated and generative curricula. The text captures the mistakes, choices, the actions, and the decision-making process of a teacher who reflects and learns from her students as she realizes she must listen to them because what they have to say counts.
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Chapter 5. Another Way of Being with Children and Mathematics

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ANOTHER WAY OF BEING WITH CHILDREN AND MATHEMATICS

The Question Is Ontological

I have spent time in many classrooms. I have had numerous conversations with other teachers. I have been witness to children’s learning. What I notice is this: As teachers we are often blinded by our practice in the immediacy of events occurring in the very classrooms in which we converse with learners and implement curricula. As well, we tend to be most concerned with the following two questions—that is, two questions reflecting the perceived business of the day:

1. What am I doing?

2. How am I going to do it?

Both these questions are riddled with a metaphysics of presence—is it any wonder what seems to matter most to us as teachers is the ‘here’ and ‘now’! However, as a result of this reflexive hermeneutic endeavor, I have been led to wonder: Are we not forgetting the question that is of utmost importance? Are we forgetting to challenge ourselves, our ideas, our limits by not explicitly asking the simplest and most ontological of questions first and foremost? ← 45 | 46 → Most parents of young children will tell you how the curiosity and wonder of the young means they never stop asking questions. Children call us back to simplicity and help us return to what Caputo (1987) refers to as the “original difficulty.” Rather than being consumed with the epistemological—the...

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