School of Education

Seeing, Hearing and Feeling Mathematics: Learning from Disabled Students

A32, Dearing Building, Jubilee Campus
Tuesday 17th January 2017 (16:30-18:00)
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A Centre for Research in Mathematics Education Seminar

Presented by Lulu Healy, Universidade Anhanguera de São Paulo

The idea for this seminar is to explore the role of the body's senses and perception in doing, learning and teaching mathematics by considering work in progress in the research programme “Towards an Inclusive Mathematics Education" (Rumo à Educação Matemática Inclusiva), based in São Paulo, Brazil. The aims of this research programme are threefold:

  • To investigate forms of accessing and expressing mathematics that respect the diverse needs of all our students
  • To contribute to the development of teaching strategies which recognise this diversity
  • To explore the relationships between sensory experience and mathematical knowledge

Our studies involve interacting with students (with and without disabilities), teachers and future teachers in scenarios designed to enable multiple ways of representing mathematical objects, in order to appeal to different sensory canals, to the skin, to the ears and to the eyes. The seminar will bring examples of the mathematical practices of disabled students through which we might consider:

  1. how mathematical cognition is both embodied and situated in the activities through which it occurs
  2. how learning mathematics involves creating, as well as the appropriating, practices associated with the sets of artefacts that represent what we call mathematics
  3. how to challenge the ableist assumptions that currently mediate our interpretations of mathematics learning and our practices as educators of mathematics


School of Education

The University of Nottingham
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

telephone: +44 (0)115 951 5559