Engaging with issues of emotionality in mathematics teacher education for social justice

  • Mark Boylan


This article focuses on the relationship between social justice, emotionality and mathematics teaching in the context of the education of prospective teachers of mathematics. A relational approach to social justice calls for giving attention to enacting socially just relationships in mathematics classrooms. Emotionality and social justice in teaching mathematics variously intersect, interrelate or interweave. An intervention, using creative action methods, with a cohort of prospective teachers addressing these issues is described to illustrate the connection between emotionality and social justice in the context of mathematics teacher education. Creative action methods involve a variety of dramatic, interactive and experiential tools that can promote personal and group engagement and embodied reflection. The intervention aimed to engage the prospective teachers with some key issues for social justice in mathematics education through dialogue about the emotionality of teaching and learning mathematics. Some of the possibilities and limits of using such methods are considered.


Classroom relationships Social justice Teacher emotions Creative action methods Experiential learning Mathematics teacher education 



Endeavours such as the one described here are never individual enterprises. I acknowledge the support and participation and helpful views of Helen Boyle, Sue Elliott, Harry Grainger, Hilary Povey, Ron Weiner, the 2007/08 Professional Year cohort, ‘Louise’ and the students on whom the pen portraits were based. I am also grateful for the helpful and insightful reviews of drafts of this article by Rochelle Gutiérrez, Tony Cotton and the editors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sheffield Hallam UniversitySheffieldUK

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