Memories of their mathematics teachers: implications for pedagogy
The future teachers in this study were asked to tell the story of their engagement with
mathematics, beginning as far back as they could recall, and ending with the present which
was as they were about to begin a module entitled Mathematical Literacy for Educators.
The narratives contained accounts of their struggles (many) and successes (few) with
learning mathematics. The focus of this paper is on their memories of their mathematics
teachers who feature in most of the autobiographies. The purpose of this memory work was
twofold: to provide a starting point to overcome mathematics anxiety which had the
potential to inhibit their engagement with mathematics, and to inform the selection of
pedagogical practices in the module. Selected memory narratives are presented and the
themes of teacher memories are discussed. Finally, four pedagogical purposes for memory
narratives are identified and discussed.
I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but
people will never forget how you made them feel.
Maya Angelou (Kelly, 2003)
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