Establishing Mathematics Classroom Culture: Concealing and Revealing the Rules of the Game

Part of the Advances in Mathematics Education book series (AME)


In this chapter we will propose several mechanisms in classroom interactions that give rise to disparity in learning opportunities. We will use terminology derived from the work of Basil Bernstein to describe these mechanisms in four episodes of classroom discourse. We conclude that efforts to enable “less able” students by incorporating elements of everyday “horizontal” discourse into school mathematics, which is oriented towards “vertical” academic discourse, can instead deny these students learning opportunities that are available to more privileged peers.


Classroom culture Disparity Learning opportunities Sociology of mathematics education Classroom interaction Implicit and explicit pedagogy Classification and framing Recontextualisation Recognition and realisation rules Praxeology 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universität BremenBremenGermany
  2. 2.Freie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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