The thesis explores children’s lived experience of being in difficulties with learning mathematics and how their narratives might be contextualised and theorised. School mathematics education is taken to be a social practice and hence open for ethnographic and sociological research approaches.
This has enabled me to better understand how the individual is enfolded within the social in the case of children in difficulties in learning mathematics. Their lived experiences are narrated into stories about identity and meaning. Narrative elements in the environment as well as children’s foregrounds and backgrounds are resources out of which the stories are composed. The identity narratives are of two kinds: actual and designated. It is from the gap between actual and designated identities that learning intentions and learning endeavours arise. The actions of learning, the learning acts, then become lived experiences and are themselves narrated into stories of identity and meaning.
This model is, like any other model, a simplification of a hugely complex set of interactions. However, what this model does is to provide an understanding of how changes can be made. It suggests three places to intervene to better support children who are in difficulties with learning mathematics. These concern the type of learning activities that form the lived experiences, the valorisations in the discursive field pervading mathematics education including discourses on difficulties and immigrants and their children, and the socio-political environment that children interpret as their foreground.
Indsamlet i en 4. klasse i en folkeskole.