Construction of identities in a land of turmoil

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Construction of identities in a land of turmoil

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Publication Student essay 15hp
Title Construction of identities in a land of turmoil
Author Bydén, Fredrika
Date 2019
English abstract
The aim of this study has been to explore how Ugandan pupils narrate themselves as learners within the mathematical classroom discourse and classroom but also as part of the school culture in the context of Uganda. Mathematical understanding and performance has been considered largely by policy makers and the wider public of critical concern to empower learners as future citizens, and for the advancement of local communities (United Nations, 2017). However, mathematical understanding encompassess more than the context of the mathematical classroom, thus, in this paper, an attempt is made to examine the narratives that motivates and shapes the pupils in their mathematical endeavors. Starting from a socio-political position, regards to the cultural, political and social context is taken. Hence, knowledge acquisition is seen as the product of discourses and the circumstances in which it is cultivated. The study was confined to a single classroom, with four pupils and the class teacher. Through micro-ethnographic methods, the study aimed to examine how these pupils positions themselves within the mathematical classroom, as pupils of today as well as adults of tomorrow. Methods for collecting data included semi-structured interviews, participatory observations and visual documentation through photography. The theoretical concepts applied in the process of analysis were: actual and designated identity (Sfard & Prusack, 2005a), and use value and exchange value (Black et.al., 2010). The pupils’ narratives show four main themes for basis of narratives: fear of corporal punishment, religious motivation, mathematical understanding, and the possibility of rewards for exceling. These four themes are acting interrelated, and exist in varying degrees within the pupils. The analysis of pupils’ narratives show that no single component is responsible for molding the pupils’ mathematical identities, but rather, that the cultural and social influences in their every-day-lives play paramount roles in shaping their narratives.
Publisher Malmö universitet/Lärande och samhälle
Language eng (iso)
Subject sociopolitical
mathematical identities
ethnographic studies in mathematics
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/30343 Permalink to this page
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