Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory

2017 Edition
| Editors: Michael A. Peters

Mathematics Education as a Matter of Identity

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-588-4_517



“Mathematics education as a matter of identity” is an emergent field where selfhood and the mathematical subject are being theorized as the effect of lived experiences in institutions such as family, school, media, or church. Identity and its associated term subjectivity are embryonic in varied theoretical and activist arenas ranging from sociocultural psychology, psychoanalysis, cultural studies, poststructuralism, postcolonialism, new materialisms, or arts-based research. Emphasis on the “question of the subject” facilitates the problematizing of a “knowing self” as the effect of politics of difference, diversity, language, discourse, body, power, authority, agency, justice, and emancipation or as the product of affective politics connected to consumption habits and entertainment desires.

Up until today, “identity” persists the status of a ubiquitous concept in...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access


  1. Brown, T., & McNamara, O. (2005). New teacher identity and regulative government: The discursive formation of primary mathematics teacher education. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  2. Chronaki, A. (2009). An entry to dialogicality in the maths classroom: Encouraging hybrid learning identities. In M. César & K. Kumpulainen (Eds.), Social interactions in multicultural settings (pp. 117–143). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers Press.Google Scholar
  3. Chronaki, A. (2013). Identity work as a political space for change: The case of mathematics teaching through technology use. In M. Berger, K. Brodie, V. Frith, & K. le Roux (Eds.), MES 7 proceedings (Vol. 1, pp. 1–19). Cape Town: Hansa Print Ltd.Google Scholar
  4. Cobb, P. (2004). Mathematics, literacies, and identity. Research Quarterly, 39(3), 333–337.Google Scholar
  5. Darragh, L. (2016). Identity research in mathematics education. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 93(1), 19–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hottinger, S. N. (2016). Inventing the mathematician: Gender, race and our cultural understanding of mathematics. New York: Sunny Press.Google Scholar
  7. Lerman, S. (2012). ‘Identity’ as a unit of analysis in researching and teaching mathematics. In H. Daniels (Ed.), Vygotsky and sociology (pp. 175–191). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Martin, D. (2006). Mathematics learning and participation in African American context: The co-construction of identity in two intersecting realms of experience. In N. Nasir & P. Cobb (Eds.), Diversity, equity, and access to mathematical ideas (pp. 146–158). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  9. Moreau, M.-P., Mendick, H., & Epstein, D. (2010). Constructions of mathematicians in popular culture and learners’ narratives: A study or mathematical and non-mathematical subjectivities. Cambridge Journal of Education, 40(1), 25–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Raubel, L. (2016). Speaking up and speaking out about gender in mathematics. Mathematics Teacher, 109(6), 434–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Sfard, A., & Prusak, A. (2005). Telling identities: In search of an analytic tool for investigating learning as a culturally shaped activity. Educational Researcher, 34(4), 14–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Solomon, Y. (2009). Mathematical literacy: Developing identities of inclusion. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  13. Walkerdine, W. (1989). Counting girls out: Girls and mathematics. London: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  14. Walshaw, M. (2010). Post-structuralism and ethical practical action: Issues of identity and power. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 44(1), 100–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ThessalyVolos, ThessalyGreece
  2. 2.Malmö UniversityMalmöSweden

Section editors and affiliations

  • Paola Valero
    • 1
  • Gelsa Knijnik
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mathematics and Science EducationStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Graduate Program on EducationUniversidade do Vale do Rio dos SinosSao LeopoldoBrazil