Educational Studies in Mathematics

, Volume 63, Issue 2, pp 209–226

Discursive Positioning and Emotion in School Mathematics Practices


DOI: 10.1007/s10649-006-9029-1

Cite this article as:
Evans, J., Morgan, C. & Tsatsaroni, A. Educ Stud Math (2006) 63: 209. doi:10.1007/s10649-006-9029-1


Our approach to emotion in school mathematics draws on social semiotics, pedagogic discourse theory and psychoanalysis. Emotions are considered as socially organised and shaped by power relations; we portray emotion as a charge (of energy) attached to ideas or signifiers. We analyse transcripts from a small group solving problems in mathematics class, and from an individual student. The structural phase of analysis identifies positions available to subjects in the specific setting, using Bernstein's sociological approach to pedagogic discourse. The textual phase examines the use of language and other signs in interaction and describes the positionings taken up by particular pupils. We then focus on indicators of emotion, and find indications of excitement and anxiety, linked to participants' positionings. Finally we consider implications of our approach.

Key words

affect defences discourse emotion metaphor pedagogic discourse positioning practice problem-solving psychoanalytic unconscious 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Middlesex UniversityLondonUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Institute of EducationUniversity of LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.University of the PeloponneseCorinthGreece

Personalised recommendations