Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory

2017 Edition
| Editors: Michael A. Peters

Mathematics Education as a Matter of the Body

  • Elizabeth de Freitas
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-588-4_522


 Biopolitics;  Body;  Embodied;  Materiality;  Neuron

Research into the various ways that the human body factors in mathematics education has recently expanded, as new theoretical developments and innovative research methods have introduced significant insights about the material dimensions of teaching and learning.

Embodied Mathematics

A catalyst for much of this work was the embodied mathematics paradigm proposed by Lakoff and Núñez (2000), who argued that the semantic content of mathematical concepts can be understood in terms of the way human bodies function in the world. Many scholars criticized this approach to mathematics for how it downplayed the role of the social, political, and material environment more broadly, while treating the body as simply the carrier of the brain and treating the brain as the seat of the mind. Indeed there are problems with the term “embodied” and “embodiment” precisely because they suggest that the body is only the container or vehicle for...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Manchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterUK

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