Exploring What is Possible in a Classroom with Mathematics and Children
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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