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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 9. Responsibility to Recover

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RESPONSIBILITY TO RECOVER

You Can’t Get There from Here: Returning Home

When I speak with visitors to the place that is now my home, they will sometimes feign gentle frustration at the good-natured response they might get from a local citizen when asking for directions to a place of interest.

“You want to go where? Oh. [Pause.] Well, [pause] you can’t get there from here.” Almost immediately after hearing this, the puzzled tourist is given detailed directions to get to the place in question, but the directions necessitate that the tourists go somewhere else first, before getting to their destination. They must journey elsewhere, and possibly to a place they had not desired to go, before being able to arrive at their target.

The phrase ‘You can’t get there from here’ reminds me also of the writing of a hermeneutic inquiry. During the writing of one of my earlier chapters, I had at one point naïvely considered jumping ahead to the end, to say what I thought I was figuring out as a way of guiding my work to that destination. Perhaps this temporary way of thinking was my solution to having a response when people unfamiliar with hermeneutic research would ask about my research findings. I did not jump to the end, however, because I was unable to do so. ‘I could not get there from where I was.’ I realize that to do...

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