Mathematics Education Research Journal

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 327–348

Examining equity of opportunities for learning mathematics through positioning theory

Original Article


This exploratory study examined how two teachers from two New Zealand primary schools introduced and taught the same mathematics lesson to their lowest ability group of year 2 and 3 students. Emphasis was given to analysing the positioning of the teacher and students and the developing storylines and social acts from that positioning. Different positionings by teachers of themselves and their students led to inequitable opportunities for active and collaborative participation in the mathematics. The differences in pedagogy revealed through the use of positioning theory suggest that the way teachers positioned themselves and their students was more influential than the resources they were teaching with.


Primary Numeracy Positioning Collaboration Participation Equity 

Copyright information

© Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Inc. 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Victoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

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